Minnesota News

Kickin' Up Hope raises money for girls in Africa

LA CRESCENT, Minn. - High school students from across the area put on their cleats and shin guards in an effort to support their peers across the ocean.

"Kickin' Up Hope" was in full force in La Crescent on Saturday.

It's a soccer tournament fundraiser organized by a group of La Crescent high school students.

The funds go to Hosea's Heart, a non-profit started by a La Crescent teacher to help abused girls in Swaziland Africa.

Teams pay an entry fee to compete in the tournament and donations are also collected from community members and businesses.

The student organizers said the more they learn about the needs of the girls in Africa, the more they want to help.

"It helps us be aware of how lucky we are and how fortunate we are with everything that we have," said La Crescent sophomore and one of the organizers of the event, Rachel Schuster.

"It makes people think, 'Wow people there don't have as much as we do down here so why don't we try to help them out because it's just a good thing to do?'" said Breeanna Burr.

The La Crescent teacher, Mary-Kate Martin who started the non-profit said the students organized the event all on their own.

She said it's incredible to see how much they care about girls they've never even met.

"I think that's the greatest reward I've had, is it's really student lead. It's a student dream. It's not just mine or someone else's. They're taking it and making it their own and putting their own spin on it and putting their own passion into it and their own dream into it and it's so cool to see that grow," said Martin.

This is the second year the girls have organized the fundraiser.

They said they raised more than $1,000.

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