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New initiative gives youth the opportunity to play sports through community service

The Seeds to Harvest Coalition is a collaboration between more than 50 organizations providing free summer youth programs for young people at North Commons Park.

MINNEAPOLIS — As the world gears up for the Tokyo Olympics, close to 1,000 young people across the metro area will take part in the City of Lakes Community Summer Games.

"Football, futsal, team handball," said Brett Buckner, with the Seeds to Harvest Coalition. "The new initiative is based off the 100 days of joy and safety, and that kids have the opportunity to just do more."

The Seeds to Harvest Coalition is a collaboration between more than 50 organizations providing free summer youth programs for young people at North Commons Park in north Minneapolis.

Bucker says the program started off as a response to COVID-19 as a way to bring the community together through tough times. 

"Clean ups, planting trees and all of a sudden the sudden death of George Floyd forced us to do more," said Buckner.

A summer futsal league started by Twin Cities Sol Futsal Academy will take place at the park from July to August, giving young people the opportunity to play on a team.

But in order to participate in the program, each player must do one hour of community service each week. 

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"My idea was to adopt drains in north Minneapolis," said Coach Mike Tate. "There's a need to eventually clean the streets and a need for families and communities to come together."

As this community is still grieving over the loss of two young girls – shot and killed in north Minneapolis – and a 10-year-old still fighting for his life. The group is hoping to raise money, to make sure every child has a safe space this summer to just be a kid.

"We have to allow our kids to come out and be children," said Coach Tate. "If we go in the house because of the problems, we are not doing our kids any service.

"The key to what we do at Seeds, is to water that seed and let it grow."

To learn learn more about the program or to donate, visit the link here.

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