DALLAS - Dallas East Soccer Association is kicking into its fall season. That’s a good thing for Lupe Solis and her daughter, Jocelyn.
“Having them out and seeing them happy. It feels great!” Solis said.
The pandemic kept the kids off the field and inside their homes.
Solis, a single mother, said her three kids didn’t understand the magnitude of COVID-19.
“Mom, can we do this? Oh no baby. Oh yeah, the virus. And he goes like that, so it’s like, you know, they don’t understand,” she explained.
The virus, however, hit close to home. Solis and her three kids were infected. Solis was bedridden for three weeks.
“I had…my 10-year-old had to cook, clean, bathe the kids, do everything while I couldn’t get out of bed. So it was really, really, difficult,” she recalled.
She works two jobs and lost some income.
“You know, like I said, I’m a single mom, so I do a lot of Door Dash and Uber on the side, so that extra income that helped me pay the bills was not there anymore,” she added.
Solis’ story is, unfortunately, a familiar one. Some families across North Texas who have hit financially by the pandemic now cannot afford things like youth sport leagues.
So the company LeagueSide stepped in. It connects small town sports leagues with big-time sponsors.
Now, Post Foods' Honey Bunches of Oats is paying to help the Dallas East Soccer Association play this fall. The money will be used for PPE and referees, which will help lower the cost for families.
The association president, Raul Lopez, doesn’t know how its teams would’ve moved forward without the support.
“It helps a lot,” he said.
“Just being back out there has helped them,” said Marina Gonzalez, whose child is playing in the league. “It was difficult because they were coming from playing soccer to just staying at home doing nothing.”
It’s been trying times for many families, but they’re moving forward, with a bit of help for their kids.
“It feels really good because this is what my kids love to do,” Solis said.