Meet Kira Weiss: A Teen Helping Kids Everywhere Get a Kick out of Soccer
In 2006, Kyle, Garrett, and Kira Weiss went to Germany to watch the FIFA World Cup (soccer’s biggest event), Kyle and Garrett were ages 15 and 13 at the time, and Kira was 8. The three of them realized what a big deal soccer is all over the world. They were inspired by the enthusiasm of the Angolan team’s fans in particular and decided to do what they could to raise money for places that needed soccer fields and equipment but didn’t have the funding. FUNDaField was founded and continues to be run by the three siblings.
From bake sales to soccer tournaments to jersey sales, clubs around the U.S. have joined the effort to fund fields all over the world. So far the organization has funded the construction of several fields in African countries including Angola, Uganda, South Africa, and Kenya. They also have a field under construction in Haiti. Kira, who is now 17, runs the day-to-day programming for FUNDaField. She told us more about this meaningful (and busy!) organization.
batteryPOP: What are you up to right now for FUNDaField?
Kira: Our team is preparing to hold a tournament in Uganda in July and we are collecting gear. I run the PAPERbeadsFROMafrica.com website. We are loading new inventory and expanding sales! Also, we are trying to provide support to our women crafters at AFTERtheBULLDOZERS.com. We are also now “sharing our fields” and have developed our first girls lacrosse league in Uganda!
batteryPOP: What would you like to see happen in the near future for FUNDaField?
Kira: The kids at FUNDaField are all volunteers. I am hoping that we can hire support to help us grow the organization.
batteryPOP: What are the best results you've seen as a result of FUNDaField's existence?
Kira: It is amazing to see how many people now show up at our tournaments. Thousands of people come to watch and dance for two days! Women show up and sell goods. Music plays day and night. The fans cheer for their teams. For many, it is the first time they have ever seen their child play on a team. It’s a celebration!
batteryPOP: What is the best thing about what you get to do?
Kira: The best thing is the kids! They are so cute, so happy, and so appreciative of the littlest things. They love soccer, love have a new-used jersey and being part of a team.
batteryPOP: What's the hardest?
Kira: The hardest part is not being able to do everything we would like to do. For every one field we build, there are 10 more schools begging for a field.
batteryPOP: What interesting talent do you have that no one knows about you (until now)?
Kira: I would like to say picking locks but sadly I have not yet perfected that skill! I can juggle and I love to paint.
batteryPOP: What advice do you have for kids who want to get involved with FUNDaField or make a difference with their own idea for helping others?
Kira: Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you can’t—find a way that you can. My brothers didn’t know anyone in Africa and had never traveled there! They were 13 and 15 and people told them it wouldn’t happen. But it did! Nelson Mandela said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
Fundraise! We just had a group of middle school kids ask us to send them banana leaf soccer balls and they did a timed obstacle course—barefoot of course! The entry fee was $5 and they had prizes donated!