By Irina and Julio
It all began with a random comment and a smile. I usually take a skytrain home after work and that day was no exception. J.J. sometimes takes that same train, normally packed with people — or, I should say, tired and sleepy people. J.J. stood out amongst the rest of my “train buddies” — you could sense his frustration as he tried to plug his laptop in to charge it. Despite his frustration, he did everything with a smile and jokes. I could not resist responding to his jokes, and thus began our first conversation.
Shortly after, I discovered how passionate he is about soccer. He talked about his determination to own a stadium and spread the “big word” about soccer!
Learning how to like soccer was not my first choice, to be honest. Julio helped me by watching it with me every Saturday for a solid amount of time. Of course, as his fiancée, I have to be able to understand it on a basic level so that my knowledge could become handy one day. And it did! It did during that circumstantial conversation with J.J. on the train. Indeed, everything does happen for a reason.
During our train ride, J.J. not only told me about his soccer academy but about all of the different training programs and charity events that he participates in. By collecting used soccer shoes and sending them to Africa, he supported others’ passion for soccer and warmed the hearts of kids on an entirely different continent. Julio is also like this — maybe that’s what helped the two to connect and share the passion they have.
At one of our meetings in J.J.’s office, Julio mentioned our trip to Mexico. J.J. kindly offered some uniforms to those kids in Mexico, too! Boy, he was so right — you really can’t erase those innocent, happy faces when you hand them their new uniforms. Those surprised, smiling faces will warm your heart so deeply.
Thank you, J.J., all the way from Mexico. Those Mexican kids will always remember those kind strangers from Canada!