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Our Story 

SOMOS was established in 2014 by Sam Bensley during his sophomore year at Rutgers Business School in New Jersey. Following ten immersive trips to Nicaragua, Sam felt a profound urge to contribute to the advancement of this developing nation. Inspired by the warm reception he received while engaging in soccer and baseball games with the local community, Sam recognized the transformative influence of sports in Nicaragua and identified a tangible need for sporting equipment.

Anticipating his next journey, Sam initiated a campaign to collect second-hand equipment, intending to distribute it across various Nicaraguan communities. The initiative gained significant traction following the publication of several local newspaper articles, resulting in a surge of donations. Sam found himself amidst thousands of pounds of contributed equipment, including soccer balls, baseball gear, and athletic jerseys, underscoring the potential for substantial support from communities across the United States.

In January 2015, Sam and a dedicated team of four volunteers arrived in Nicaragua with five hundred pounds of donated equipment. Through a strategic partnership with Comunidad Connect of San Juan del Sur, Somos facilitated the provision of essential resources to invigorate local athletic leagues.

Reflecting on his inaugural trip, Sam realized that he had unearthed a lifelong passion project: supplying developing nations with sporting equipment to empower youth and communities through sports.

Thus, our journey begins...

Our Mission

At SOMOS, our core mission is to ensure that communities in developing nations have access to athletic equipment. We believe that every child should have the opportunity to participate in sports, fostering physical health and valuable life skills.

We're aware of the significant disparities in sporting opportunities faced by children in these regions. Many grow up without the chance to play soccer matches, basketball games, or engage in volleyball tournaments, missing out on essential experiences and connections.

Our focus extends to Central America, where many developing nations lack sufficient sporting opportunities. Addressing this disparity not only improves physical health but also contributes to higher literacy rates and enhanced community well-being.

Our approach involves providing athletic equipment to these communities. We send thousands of pounds of equipment biannually via shipping containers, providing essential tools for the establishment and development of athletic programs.

We're excited to introduce Play It Forward in Nicaragua, where we're manufacturing sports equipment locally. This includes soccer balls, baseball bats, and baseballs, creating sustainable solutions that empower communities.

In addition to providing equipment, Play It Forward sets up a dynamic supply bank accessible to local sports teams, schools, and programs. Utilizing an innovative credit system, community teams and schools can earn credits by actively participating in community service projects. These projects may include initiatives like cleaning a city park or collaborating with local charities to support their community.

Our initiative is about more than just sports. It's about fostering teamwork, community engagement, and empowerment. Together, we're building a brighter future for the youth of Nicaragua, one soccer ball, one baseball bat, and one community project at a time. Join us in our mission to make athletic opportunities accessible to all through Play It Forward.

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