What We Do

Kleats for Kids collects used athletic gear for athletes in need. KFK also helps local soccer clubs build networks to redistribute their equipment.

2015 KFK visits Daraja

In summer 2015, Gillian received the Branson School Chase fellowship enabling her to travel to the Daraja school in Kenya. She delivered cleats donated from the newly created East Coast Hub facilitated by President Will Cohen. Gillian brought Branson t-shirts to each student and new jerseys and knee pads for the Daraja volleyball team as well as tap shoes for the cultural club to use while performing. At Daraja, Gillian coached volleyball and introduced students to American tap dancing.

2015 KFK launches East Coast hub

Will Cohen, President of KFK East, kicked off the effort by holding a hugely successful cleats drive at Friends Seminary in NYC (www.friendsseminary.org/) where over 100 pairs of cleats were packaged and delivered to the Daraja School in Kenya during the summer of 2015. For 2016, Cohen has ambitious plans to expand the drive across soccer leagues and clubs throughout NYC and NY State and is in discussions to design soccer programs in South Africa and Colombia in conjunction with the Friends Seminary Global Education and Service Learning initiatives. Says Cohen, "I'm excited to be taking a leadership role in KFK, extending and expanding its reach and influence on the East Coast and beyond. As an athlete myself, I've seen there's so much good work to be done uniting people through sports and teamwork and I'm ready to take it on.".

2015 KFK partners with the DARAJA

2015 KFK partners with the DARAJA school in Kenya to collect and deliver athletic jerseys: The mission of Daraja Academy is to provide a quality education to exceptional Kenyan girls because they believe that educated girls can transcend poverty and change the world.

Branson volleyball Teammates & interact club collaborate to benefit education in Kenya

This fall, varsity volleyball teammates, Gillian Alper and Bailie Salk organized a snack bar at all home games to benefit the Daraja School in Kenya. The mission of Daraja is to provide a quality education to Kenyan girls because "educated girls can transcend poverty and change the world." The entire Branson volleyball team participated by becoming pen-pals with members of the volleyball team at Daraja. Gillian coined the campaign "One World One Team" to raise awareness of the importance of girls' education. Teammates Bice Kelly-Andrews & Carrie Wentzel, together with the Interact Club, organized a fund raiser at Soul Cycle. Proceeds of the volleyball snack bar, the Soul Cycle benefit ride and an anonymous donor totaled $2,500, enough money to support one girl for an entire year boarding at Daraja. AD Michelle Smith, who attended high school with Daraja school founder Jason Doherty, collaborated with Gillian and donated old Branson athletic uniforms to Daraja.

Thanks to all who supported this worthwhile fundraising effort.

KFK collaborates with Project Grace

Since my sister started college, I have been keeping KFK going. We continue to collect cleats through our partner at T&B sports in San Rafael. In Spring 2014, I collaborated with Project Grace and provided cleats which were distributed in orphanages in Africa.

Mary Mclain distributed the cleats she wrote:

"In May 2014, I embarked on a Project Grace trip to Tanzania with six women who share an experience no parent wants to imagine~losing a child. Mostly strangers, we yearned for something to help us feel better, make sense of our loss, or just be with others who could "BE" with us. I wanted to participate in a service project involving relationship and connecting with others that had experienced loss~Project Grace offered the right trip~to work with children who had lost their parents! I wanted to know that I could still give joy and love from my heart, even though it had been broken to pieces and hardened by loss. As my trip plans were unfolding and I was preparing for this journey, my friend, Tracy McCulloch, and I were talking about the foundation her children had started "Kleats for Kids". It made perfect sense to combine these two projects together. So I journeyed to Africa with extra luggage filled with gently used soccer cleats collected by Kleats for Kids along with new soccer socks, soccer balls, air pumps and lolly pops! What exuberance and delight the children displayed as we opened and distributed the Kleats for Kids bag and played soccer~it was a day we 6 mommas were celebrating the life of Christine, not my daughter, but one who loved playing soccer. It will be a memory i will cherish forever!!"

Mary Mclain

T & B Sports

Anthony Brusati from T&B sports

In 2010-2011, KFK partnered with T&B Sports, a popular sport store located in San Rafael, CA to collect used cleats and gear. So far this partnership has worked really well—over 50 pairs of cleats have already been donated!

Left is a picture of Anthony Brusati from T&B sports. His family has owned this store for 66 years in San Rafael. Anthony is thrilled to partner with KFK. His clients are happy to have a place to donate their used cleats when buying new ones. It's a win win situation for everyone.

Check out the recent Marin IJ article on T&B

Vietnam, Laos Trip

In July/August 2011 I am traveling to Vietnam and Laos. I am brining cleats collected through T&B Sports, our new partner. Trip details to come! Should be amazing!

Cambodia Trip

In 2010, I traveled to rural Cambodia to work in an orphanage and distribute cleats. Learning about the Cambodian culture, tasting the exotic food and playing with the children was extremely fun. I worked with young children as well as older monks in training. Monks or not, the kids absolutely loved their cleats and jerseys. In Cambodia, soccer is frequently played in the city streets or dusty dirt roads that surround rice fields. Cambodia was a successful trip and a great experience!


I've just learned of this fantastic film Pelada. Pelada is a documentary following Luke and Gwendolyn, two former college soccer stars who didn't quite make it to the pros. Not ready for it to be over, they take off, chasing the game. From prisoners in Bolivia to moonshine brewers in Kenya, from freestylers in China to women who play in hijab in Iran, Pelada is the story of the people who play.

There will be a showing of this remarkable film at The Lark Theater in Marin County, CA on May 22nd @ 7:30PM. The showing will include a Q&A with the director and a silent auction and raffle. Please check it out!

India Trip

In December of 2009, Kleats for Kids ventured to Chennai, India to deliver cleats collected from the Mill Valley Soccer Club and St. Hillary School. After a meeting at the All Chennai Football Association director's home, we personally fit cleats on underprivileged players at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. In Chennai, soccer is not only a sport but a tool that is used to transcend the social, caste, gender, and religious differences that many Indians struggle with.

"Football" is a way for common people to play a game that teaches discipline, sportsmanship and respect. Our connection with the local soccer club gave us an opportunity to meet and interact with players who we would not otherwise be able to enjoy. Thank you for the donations! The trip was a great success.

Cleat Drive Benefits Local School

On Labor Day weekend I collected cleats at the Mill Valley Soccer Fest. My family and I took these cleats to San Pedro School in San Rafael to anxiously waiting children determined to play soccer. These cleats will help launch the youth sports after school program.

After delivering a speech and the cleats to the coordinator I talked with many of the kids. They were very thankful, running up to give me hugs and begging me to play with them. The experience of giving locally was extremely rewarding. Thank you to all of those who donated at Soccer Fest, your cleats are in good hands.

Thailand Trip

I recently delivered KFK cleats to disadvantaged kids in Northern Thailand. I was in Thailand to participate in  Rustic Pathways, a community service and travel program.  I brought dozens of pairs donated by players with the Marin FC and Novato Teams and from the students at Mount Tamalpais School.

I brought a giant wheeled duffle with me and distributed the cleats to an orphanage in Udon Tahni, a village that hosts relatively few foreigners. During my visit I planted rice, taught English, gave dogs shots, taught kids to swim, provided homework help, cleaned temples and prepared meals for the elderly.

Playing soccer and delivering the cleats helped me get to know the kids better and made me a more effective volunteer. On the field there was no language barrier. The orphans weren't orphans and I wasn't the American teen. Instead we were a bunch of kids playing a game that we all love.

Tanzania Trip

KFK collected soccer equipment at the Mill Valley SoccerFest and from local schools. We traveled to Tanzania, Africa where founder Lauren, her sisters Gillian & Kate distributed the gear to a Masai school near the Ngorongoro Crater in the Serengeti National Park.

Lauren, a player for the Marin FC and Gillian a player for the Mill Valley Soccer Club enjoyed impromptu soccer with the children delighting in the universal appeal of the game.

We also traveled to Zanzibar where KFK donated gear to Zanzibar’s first women’s national team featured in the documentary “Queens of Zanzibar

In Zanzibar, women’s activities are severely curtailed. We met these brave women and our equipment donation directly benefits their fight for equal rights.

Summer 2015

KFK East


Project Grace
Project Grace
Project Grace

T & B Sports
Trip to India

Trip to India
Trip to India
Trip to India

Cleat Drive Benefits Local School
Cleat drive benefitting San Pedro School

Thailamd Trip
Kleats for Kids Thailand trip

The Queens of Zanzibar
Kleats for Kids Zanzibar trip