The Holiday Ball

I've never been poor. Like a lot of us, I've been broke, but I've never been poor. Broke is temporary. Broke is a cash flow problem. Broke in America is where you're at before you get a better job, a new opportunity, another chance.

Poor is no job and no opportunity. Poor is no chance. Poor is no hope.

For as long as I've written about sports, I've asked one question: What are sports for? By rote and cliché we know exercise and sports are vital to good health and development and for teaching the values of discipline and hard work and community.

I'd add that for poor children here and abroad sports are a demonstration of cause and effect in a world otherwise unresponsive to them. "The poor" are weightless and invisible and anonymous, and though uncountable, exert little political leverage except through pity.

At its best, sports can teach even the poorest kid a kind of basic spiritual physics. Throw, and a ball goes here. Kick, and the ball goes there. It is an affirmation of the individual at the simplest level of existence. Push here, and the world moves there.

But first that kid needs a ball.

For $25 you can send one to the kids who need it most. One that'll never go flat. One that won't wear out. Read about it here and here and here and here.

Between now and Dec. 31, you can send a ball directly
to Save The Children, a four-star charity. Twenty-five dollars isn't much to let a child somewhere know that in this world, just at the end of your fingertips, or out at the tips of your toes, there's hope. And there's joy. What could be more important at the holidays?

Read. Decide. Maybe do what you can.

Even if you're broke.