Santa Clara University

Room number: 34

The importance of helping others

Steve Erbst '88

The Importance of Helping Others

My wife and I challenged our boys (Cameron & Shane) to find ways to give back to others.  As a result, my family came up with a model/program called "Play It Forward Sports".  Essentially, the goal was to help low-income families have the opportunity to play sports and also to attend college or professional sporting events.  We gathered soccer jersey's, balls, & shoes to deliver to kids at the East Valley YMCA and the surrounding areas of East SJ.  Recently, we invited over 100 kids/families from the YMCA and other surrounding areas to attend the SCU CIT Basketball play-offs. We wanted these kids to not only experience a great game for the first time, but to also see a college campus in order to begin setting goals for themselves including attending college.  

In order to make their experience even more memorable, my family created shirts for each of them to wear during the game and a rally towel for them to wave.  They also had the opportunity to be ball boys.  All the kids left with smiles on their face, asking when they could come back to the game and campus!  These experiences are priceless and most importantly they teach my kids in the process. When these families ask what they can do to thank us...we simply tell them to "Play It Forward" to someone else someday. We expect to continue working with the YMCA and other programs to bring these kids to SCU for many more upcoming sporting events.