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Sep, 2020

Internationals SC Families Serve the Community with Passion and Respect

Family and community service are major pillars of Internationals SC.  The Bard and Craig families are leading the way in the area, serving both their club and community.  Debbie Bard and Tammy Craig are sisters and their children are cousins; all are active members of Internationals SC.   

The Bard family, which includes Ella (U14), Amelia (U13), and Olivia (U10), heads up Team OMie, which focuses on yoga and nature-based education.  They have been involved with Internationals for four years. 

The Bards have committed themselves to serving their community and they do that on a regular basis.  They built and regularly stock a small free library and food pantry.  They spearheaded a citywide litter cleanup event that occurs every spring.  This year they collected over 500 pounds of litter and trash, leaving their community a more beautiful and welcoming place.   

They regularly help make dolls for The Giving Doll and recently helped sew masks for those in need.  The family’s property is registered as a nature conservancy and they planted trees and wildflowers to help build up the biodiversity.  They are also actively lobbying their city to stop using insecticides.  Team OMie is also the face of the Medina County Recycling Initiative, which raises awareness around recycling best practices and the importance of recycling.  They film public service announcements that are used on various social media platforms. 

But it doesn’t stop there as they also believe in the importance of random acts of kindness, delivering flowers and other items to their local police station, painting rocks for our schools, and writing letters to those at area nursing homes.

“We like to help others because it’s the nice thing to do,” Olivia Bard said.The Craig family, which includes Cecelia (U14) and Athena (U12), is active locally and globally in the service of others.  The Craigs have been members of Internationals for four years. 

“We’ve always wanted to be involved in our community and really globally as we recognize how fortunate we are, and are happy to give back and help others,” Tammy Craig said. “In fact, we make it a mission every single day to at least one kind thing a day, and be grateful for at least three things from our day.  This is a daily habit that we talk about every single night before bed.”

Their 501(c)3 nonprofit Eleven Eleven Giving Love, Inc. provided four families in the Wadsworth community with the gift of health.  Each family received free hair analysis and blood testing to determine what foods are best for their bodies to consume.  Those families also received four months of free supplementation and health coaching to help better their bodies.  Cecelia, Athena, and Tammy have actively participated in all of the testing, supplementation, and health coaching and seminars to provide support to the families and children in the community. 

The Craig’s nonprofit is also involved in education.  They purchased three tower gardens that are going to be placed in the Wadsworth City Schools in order to help promote a healthier lifestyle.  Cecelia and Athena have both been active participants in the growing process as well as the consumption from the towers in order to be role models for their peers.  Currently the towers are being distributed to families in the community for free to experiment for a growing season. 

In May they gifted two Wadsworth seniors with $500 scholarships to pursue higher education.  Amazingly they are also building a school in Uganda and are about 70% complete.  They have been actively working on the project for over a year and have raised $55,000. The school in Uganda will also get a tower garden. 

During the pandemic the Craigs decided to unite the country by holding hands with every state.  This idea was actually inspired by Internationals’ videos of passing the ball on social media. They watched those videos and were then inspired to connect and give hope, love, and peace to others in the U.S.  They recently decided to take it even a step further, connecting every country and in the process the entire world.  Cecelia and Athena were active participants in this process by proofreading the videos, locating the countries on a map, and serving as an awesome support system to get this accomplished.  Jitka Klimková, one of the staff coaches from Internationals, actually had her family overseas represented in the video.

Both families are actually part of a group called “The Yogataters” who produce yoga videos for the community that are aired on local cable station WCTV.  The girls produced ashow that included a breathing technique, a meditation, and yoga flow.  They also hostlive Yogatates in their community.  The group recently received national awards for their efforts.

Both families are actively involved in their Empower YOUth Retreats.  The retreats teach the children how to love themselves from the inside out using positive self-talk, visualization, meditation, yoga, nature, creativity, and doing things outside their comfort zone.  The Craig’s nonprofit allows children in need to attend these retreats for free.   

Having five family members at the same soccer club is a special thing, especially when it is a family that is so focused on helping others.

“It is pretty cool,” Amelia Bard said. “We can inspire and push each other to be the best.”

“There are so many different age groups that the family participates and that allows us to support more of the club,” Cecelia Craig said.

Choosing at Internationals SC proved to be a great choice for both the Bards and Craig.   

“It was the best decision ever to come to ISC because I love the culture,” Ella Bard said. “All the coaches and staff members make everyone feel so welcome.  I also love my ISC sisters.”

“The club has inspired me even more to want to be a professional soccer player,” Athena Craig said. “I love all the new ball skill moves that I have learned since joining the club.”

Internationals SC is very proud of the work that these stellar families have completed in the name of the greater good. 

"Our club's core values include health, character, education, respect, passion, and Love,” Internationals SC Club and ECNL Director Keri Sarver said. “The Craig and Bard families embody these values in their service to others and in how they live out their daily lives.  Their holistic approach to personal and athletic development is in line with our club's values and mission and we are thrilled that the families have chosen our club as their soccer home.  Five players and one volunteer team manager (Debbie Bard) from within the same family is unique and special to us.  The players are a joy to coach and represent the club in such a positive way on the field, in their schools and in their communities.  They are a positive influence on their teammates and inspire all of us to do more for our community and for the world."

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Medina, Ohio 44256

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