San Diego

San Diego Loyal Donates Soccer Balls, Equipment to Migrant Youth at Convention Center

The San Diego-based soccer team said it is looking forward to helping the migrant youth in other ways

NBC 7

San Diego Loyal helped welcome the migrant children who arrived at the San Diego Convention Center earlier this week with a generous donation of athletic items that can help keep them entertained.

More than 40 balls and other soccer equipment were given to the young migrants who are seeking asylum in the U.S. The first group of teenage asylum seekers arrived at the downtown event space on Saturday.

SBCS, a San Diego-based non-profit formerly known as South Bay Community Services, is leading the social services for the unaccompanied minors and reached out to the soccer team to see if it could donate any equipment. Happy to help, San Diego Loyal immediately jumped on board.

“We’re glad to help. We just want to be able to support our community as a whole,” said Jesse Beltran, the team’s Director of Marketing.

Looking ahead, Beltran said San Diego Loyal is seeking ways they can further get involved in the effort to help the migrant children.

There are now more than 700 teenage migrant girls being sheltered at the convention center, including nearly 70 who as of Monday were COVID-19 positive. NBC 7's Melissa Adan has the latest.

“Moving forward, we’re looking to doing some programming with the help of our partner, Chicano Federation,” he said. “We’re looking to see how we can put little cliques together so that they can get more engaging and have more fun and just feel like they can do something besides just thinking about the situation they’re in.”

Future plans haven’t yet been revealed in detail, but what San Diego Loyal does know is that it wants to be part of the effort to welcome the unaccompanied minors.

“That’s someone who lives in our community, who’s coming into our community so we want to make sure we work with them together and help them feel like they’re right at home,” Beltran said.

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