Oak City Soccer

By on Aug 19, 2018 in Giving

Established in 2016, Oak City Soccer provides active, hands-on programming to help children with autism, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, and anxiety. Through activities, particularly soccer,  youth improve motor functions, establish social skills, and experience fun and acceptance in a team setting. The program has changed the lives of hundreds of children living in Cary and Wake Forest, North Carolina.

Yardi Raleigh recently formed a relationship with Oak City Soccer that has been inspiring and uplifting

Answering the Call

The relationship began during the Yardi Cares Committee’s annual request for grant nominations. Each year, Yardi offices around the world receive a sum of funds to allocate the local non-profit organizations.

“When the Yardi Cares Committee asked for suggestions for organizations to support, I immediately thought of Oak City Soccer,” says Thomas Duncan, Technical Account Manager, Residential NC – Consulting Practice 2 at Yardi. “They are also local to our Yardi Raleigh office and I really wanted to help out some local charities in addition to larger, state-wide charities.”

After reviewing the nomination and researching the organization, the committee casted its votes. Oak City Soccer joined the league of grant recipients for the year!

Yardi’s donation supported the expansion of Oak City Soccer to a second location, expanding from Cary to Wake Forest. Additionally, the funds provided scholarships to low-income families, as well as the replacement of worn out supplies such as soccer balls, new therapeutic tools, and visual cues.

Roxy Shelley, Executive Director of Oak City Soccer, received the donation on behalf of Oak City Soccer. “Thanks so much to Thomas for the nomination, and Yardi for the amazing support this past year. We are truly grateful!”

More than a Game

Shelley has witnessed the way that the Oak City Soccer impacts kids on a daily basis. “Soccer provides a physical outlet for children with autism and ADHD. All children need physical activity, and our current lifestyles don’t allow for much of it. If a child with a diagnosis of autism or ADHD is provided with appropriate amounts of exercise, their brains are better prepared to learn in other areas, because they’re less focused on the survival of just moving their bodies with excess energy,” explains Shelley.

Specialized soccer instruction provides opportunity to enhance gross motor and social skills. Kids develop the most foundational steps of learning: how to be comfortable in a group setting, take turns, communicate on the field during a game, strategize with teammates, and work toward a common goal.

Those developmental gains come with unique challenges and rewards. “One of the greatest challenges of working with children at OCS is the unique personality and skill set of each and every child,” says Shelley. “What works for one child, may not work for another, as all people are different kinds of learners. OCS strives to adapt their coaching styles and strategies to meet each player where he or she is, and build on skill sets, always allowing for as much independence as possible.”

The reward comes when the students demonstrate growth. It comes in different forms and at different times for each child.

“Some players have been with us for two and a half years, so there is the actual physical growth, but also the growth as a person: children who were once too afraid to speak, now telling us stories, making friends, and joking on the field. The athletic gains are just an added bonus!” says Shelley.

Yardi is Energized for good! Join us by supporting Oak City Soccer. You can learn more about philanthropy at Yardi by visiting our Giving page.