HARBEL, Liberia (Oct. 29, 2010)—Soccer players on teams sponsored by different branches of Bridgestone Americas Inc. joined to contribute more than 500 pounds of soccer gear to children on the Firestone Liberia Inc. natural rubber plantation in Harbel, according to a Bridgestone.
Ken Dillard, Japanese SOX compliance manager for Bridgestone Americas in Nashville, sent out a request to friends, family and Bridgestone Americas soccer teammates for soccer gear to take to the children on the Harbel plantation.
“That simple request resulted in an unbelievable response from my network, the company and the greater community,” Dillard said. “What started with my kids' three soccer balls quickly turned into a donation of several hundred pounds.”
Area soccer clubs, the Tennessee Special Olympics and Hillcrest United Methodist Church joined in the effort, according to Bridgestone. In addition to 500 pounds of soccer balls, shin guards, cleats, goaltending gloves, jerseys, shirts, socks, shorts and other sports equipment, the groups gathered nearly 200 stuffed animals to send to children at the Firestone Medical Center in Liberia, the company said.
The Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations Distribution Center in Lebanon, Tenn., shipped the donated goods by truck to Baltimore, Md., and from there Firestone Natural Rubber Co.'s Donation Cargo program delivered the goods via ship to Liberia.