International Neighbors Executive Director Kari Miller was the keynote speaker at the 2020 SOCA Ball. Check out the video she presented as part of her talk!
SOCA Outreach Program
A community outreach program bringing soccer to all children in the Charlottesville area.
The SOCA Outreach Program is a community service program providing financial assistance, transportation, and registration assistance to families from around the SOCA area. The program began in the mid 1990’s and has grown to serve over 300 children per season; from SOCA’s introductory Recreation program to the most advanced Travel program. Participation is facilitated by both volunteers and SOCA’s Outreach Coordinator.
In an effort to remove financial barriers to participation, the Outreach Program utilizes several resources for funding including SOCA’s annual budget, the Matt Henderson Fund, and fundraising events. In 2019 SOCA made over 1000 financial assistance awards totalling nearly $140,000 of free soccer programming in the community. The program is entirely funded by the club, its members and community sponsors. SOCA is a 501c3 not for profit and receives no public funding. Two funds have been established by the families of former SOCA players to help offset financial barriers to particpation, the Matt Henderson Fund and Jeremy Pinkerton Fund.
Importantly, the Outreach Program players, facilitated by SOCA’s Outreach Coordinator Chris Dolinger and volunteers, take part in fundraising events throughout the year. The most popular of these events is the SOCA 3v3 showdown series which are small-sided tournament events that generate important funds to help replenish the Matt Henderson Fund. SOCA also hosts an annual “adults only” fundraiser, the SOCA Ball, each winter to raise additional funding for these children’s participation.
The Outreach Program currently serves children throughout the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County who encounter financial, language, or technological barriers. It targets families from three primary populations: families in publicly supported housing, recent immigrant Latino families, and refugee families in the area. SOCA’s goal is to include all children who show a passion for the game.
The SOCA Outreach Program has been a proven positive experience in these children’s lives, exposing them to helpful role models and new friends. Not only expanding the greater SOCA community of players but more importantly expanding the overall communities of families from these often under served and isolated communities. It is the club’s goal to include these children in the SOCA community which exposes them to skills to be used on and off the field, often leading to success in other areas of their lives. The Outreach Program is always looking for caring, passionate individuals to volunteer as coaches, drivers, and mentors to make a positive difference in these children’s lives.
If you would like to volunteer with or donate to the SOCA Outreach Program please follow the links on the right side of the page. Contact Outreach Program Coordinator Chris Dolinger with questions.