Passback: It’s Not Just for Kids!

Tim McKenna, Warren, OH
Tim McKenna, a now retired member of the United States Air Force, was deployed in Comayagua, Honduras in 2004 and observed that the children and families of the neighborhood had very little in their poverty-stricken region.

“These families had nothing,” said McKenna, a West Virginia native who currently resides in Warren, Ohio. “The kids might have gotten one set of new clothes a year, but there was no hope in sight for many of them.”

Hoping to help the town through soccer, McKenna did some online research and discovered Passback.

“I received enough equipment from Passback to field a league of 10 teams,” he said.  “I provided my own official’s equipment, trained two linesman and we started. The league is still in operation today.”

While many Passback Stars are youth who seek to help those their age in need, the program is welcome to anyone, at any age.


Vince Ventimiglia, Soccer Dreams Without Borders, Denver, CO

Vince Ventimiglia runs Soccer Dreams Without Borders (SDWB), a non-profit organization based out of Denver whose primary focus is to help underserved youth in Africa and the U.S.

Along with emphasizing the importance of education and encouraging responsible lifestyle choices, SDWB has an ongoing Passback Collection that distributes soccer gear to young players who otherwise may not be active or have a high-risk factor of dropping out of school.

“On average, the total annual collection exceeds 1,000 items of soccer gear,” said Ventimiglia. “We ship over 900 pounds to Africa yearly and provide soccer gear for about 150 young boys and girls in the Denver inner city.

Not only have Ventimiglia and McKenna helped various communities through their Passback collections, but they have also been learning through the process as well.

“I learned that we live in a country that shows amazing love of the sport and that the size of their hearts matches that love,” said McKenna. “I have also learned to never ever count anyone out – people will surprise you when you least expect it.”

But ultimately, why do these men collect this equipment? While the gift of soccer may be nice, how does the sport transcend itself and influence other facets of society?

“Using Colorado as an example, the drop out rate in some areas is almost 50%, pregnancy among high school girls is high, and 30% of the kids are obese or at risk of being obese,” said Ventimiglia. “It is well documented that there is an achievement gap in the underserved segment in Colorado and no doubt this applies in most other parts of the country.

“I am convinced linking soccer to education and making good lifestyle choices will make a difference in the lives of children and their families.”

McKenna echoed the sentiment:

“I hear stories everyday from around the world where people’s willingness to help promote the game of soccer has bled over to a more rewarding life.”

Ventimiglia and McKenna are just two examples of adults who are making a difference through Passback. Learn more about starting a collection of your own.


Join the U.S. Soccer Foundation in the movement to improve lives through soccer.

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  • adidas


    adidas, the Foundation’s Safe Places to Play – Mini-Pitch Partner, supports providing children in underserved communities with safe play spaces nationwide. adidas strives to be the globally leading and most popular sporting goods brand. Dedicated to innovation,  adidas embraces creativity and seeks to be socially responsible in all facets of its brand. For more information, please visit

  • APT


    APT (Advanced Polymer Technology), the Foundation’s Partner for Acrylic Coating Products, is a global leader in high performance sports surfaces. APT provides people around the world with safe, reliable, performance enhancing surfaces. APT’s Laykold Masters acrylic surfacing system will be the official surface of an estimated 500 mini-pitches. For more information on APT, please visit

  • CHA


    CHA Sports, the Foundation’s Supplier for Soccer Facility Design and Planning Services, provides community partners with expertise in soccer facility design. CHA Sport’s full service approach allows the company to build world-class projects without breaking budgets. For more information, please visit

  • The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation

    The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation

    DICK’S Sporting Goods and The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation believe that participation in sports makes people better. Since 2014, DICK’S and The DICK’S Foundation have pledged more than $100 million to support youth sports teams and leagues in need.  Through our Sports Matter initiative we strive to increase awareness for underfunded youth athletics nationwide and provide much-needed support through equipment, uniform and monetary donations. For more information on Sports Matter, visit

  • Johnson & Johnson

    Johnson & Johnson

    Johnson & Johnson, the Foundation’s grant partner, is dedicated to supporting the next generation of female leaders by providing greater access to girls’ youth soccer programming in underserved communities nationwide. As the world’s largest and most broadly based healthcare company, Johnson & Johnson strives to create healthier communities, and put a healthy mind, body and environment within reach of everyone, everywhere. For more information, please visit

  • Kwik Goal

    Kwik Goal

    Kwik Goal, the Foundation’s Official Supplier for goals, seating, boundary equipment, training equipment and coaching accessories, will be supporting a variety of Foundation programs and initiatives including: Soccer for Success, National Training and the Safe Places to Play program. Over thirty years ago, Kwik Goal was founded on the revolutionary concept of providing transportable goals for coaches at all age levels. Since that time, Kwik Goal has continued to focus on helping coaches and soccer programs create safe and dynamic learning environments by supplying high quality, safety tested soccer goals, field equipment and training equipment to the domestic and international market. For more information, please visit



    MLS WORKS, Major League Soccer’s community outreach initiative, is dedicated to addressing important social issues and serves as a platform for both League and club philanthropic programs. MLS WORKS seeks to establish Major League Soccer as a leader for improving the lives of people through sport. MLS WORKS is committed to improving the communities where we live and play our games by executing national programs and legacy projects, charitable giving campaigns, and undertaking various initiatives in underserved communities.

  • Musco


    As a proud corporate partner of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Musco is dedicated to helping the major charitable arm of American soccer create new opportunities through high-quality sports lighting. Their Total Light Control—TLC for LED™ technology is engineered as a system with lighting, structural, and electrical components designed to work together for streamlined installation and long-term reliability. TLC for LED delivers superior field lighting while eliminating glare and spill from impacting surrounding neighborhoods. And Musco’s long-term warranty covering parts and labor means U.S. Soccer Foundation partners don’t have to handle any maintenance on their system, or pay for it, for 25 years. Visit to learn more about the grant program and application process.

  • SCORE Sports

    SCORE Sports

    SCORE Sports, the preferred provider of shin guards to the Foundation’s Soccer for Success program, is a family-owned and operated business specializing in sports equipment, uniforms and apparel. SCORE is an industry leader and has been involved in the sports community for over 40 years. SCORE outfits athletes with high-quality uniforms that SCORE develops, designs and manufactures in the U.S. SCORE takes pride in working with various non-profit groups and causes to give back to athletes who may need some extra support to play the game they love. SCORE is environmentally cautious with the materials it uses for its products and does its part in minimizing our environmental footprint. SCORE proudly offers a wide variety of products to provide customers with a one-stop shop for all your soccer needs. For more information, please visit

  •, the Foundation’s National Partner for Soccer Equipment and Uniforms, was founded in 1984 to provide high quality soccer gear at reasonable prices through its nationally circulated catalog. embodies a passion for the game that extends to the people who play, coach and support soccer. For more information, please visit

  • Target


    Target announced a national partnership with Safe Places to Play in 2017, along with a $6 million commitment to build 100 new soccer play spaces with the U.S. Soccer Foundation by 2020. This is the latest initiative in the Minneapolis-based retailer’s multi-dimensional approach to the sport of soccer, bringing the game to more kids and families across the country, and unlocking access and increasing involvement at all levels.

  • TGI Worldwide

    TGI Worldwide

    TGI Worldwide, the Foundation’s National Partner for Visual Branding (Signage, Event Décor, Pageantry, Sponsorship Activation), Perimeter Field Board Systems, Creative Services and Event Operations is proud to support a variety of initiatives and programs throughout the United States. Headquartered in the U.S., TGI is an internationally recognized sports marketing company delivering high profile Visual Branding, Live Event Management, LED, and cutting edge Digital Sports Applications to enrich the experience at major events and deliver commercial impact for sponsors and partners. The company has a 20-year history in providing its various solutions for many top-tier domestic and international events, organizations, teams and companies, with proven success and turn-key solutions across 1000+ events, 160+ cities and 50+ countries globally.

    For more information on our services, please visit or contact Mike Squire at / Phone: 312-371-5852.

  • World Soccer Shop

    World Soccer Shop

    Launched in 2001, World Soccer Shop is an online soccer retailer based in Birmingham, Alabama. It carries one of the world’s widest selections of officially-licensed products from the sport’s top brands and teams. World Soccer Shop is passionate about soccer and endeavors to spread the beautiful game around the world, especially to those in areas of need. For more information, please visit


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