Do you think you are too busy, too young, too old, too poor to be a philanthropist? Whatever your reason (or excuse), please read on about nine-year-old Mac Millar’s project and how he has made a difference in the lives of some of the poorest children in the world.
In October 2012, young Mac Millar from Brisbane saw “kids from Afghanistan on TV and they never looked like they have much to do” Mac said. ” I love soccer, and I think every kid should be able to play soccer too”. Mac learned that Afghan children were among the most disadvantaged in the world and he knew immediately what he wanted to do: “My goal is to help kids who can’t play soccer because they are too poor.”
With a little help from his family, Mac set about raising money to buy soccer balls to send them to Afghanistan. It turned out to be harder than he thought – but young Mac persisted.
Penelope Wensley AC Governor of Queensland describes Mac’s enthusiasm as “infectious” and his appeals for assistance, through a combination of activities – letter-writing, establishing a special website, using social media, speaking at Rotary clubs, and elsewhere – struck a chord in the community, attracting much interest and media for the project he called “Football. Play it Forward”.
In June 2013, Mac’s dream came true and the 7th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment Task Group in Afghanistan along with AusAID Advisors, handed out 100 soccer balls to a local school in Uruzgan province.
The lucky recipients were the children of the then new AusAID-funded Salambaba School in the Mirabad valley, Afghanistan.
Since then Mac has raised tens of thousands of dollars to buy more soccer balls for disadvantaged kids in Afghanistan, Solomon Islands, refugee detention centres all around Australia (including Manus Island and Nauru), Cambodia and Zimbabwe. Mac has written a book about his amazing story (so far) titled, Football. Play it Forward.
In October 2013 Mac won a United Nations Association of Australia, Queensland Community Award for his increbile humanitarian efforts.
But still, Mac is enjoying being a kid. “Soccer is my life,” Mac said. “I love playing it, watching it and learning about it. My goal is to play for Barcalona like Messi and be a famous soccer player. Mum still asks me what job I want when I grow up. She really doesn’t get it.”
For more inspiration watch the offical launch of Mac’s book, buy your own copy of Mac’s book Football. Play it Forward, donate to buy soccer ball, follow Mac on facebook, visit his website.
Now, what are you going to do.
Such an inspirational child and I could only hope my kids have an ounce of his verve for life, sport and empathy.