map3030 Lyndon B Johnson Fwy, #130
Dallas, TX 75234


Call Us214-221-5800

Spring 2023 Community Impact Scholarship Winner

Lily Ruth Sowle

This fall, Lily will be beginning her college education with Rockhurst University. We are honored to provide some financial support to Lily as she begins this chapter in her life. Lily hopes to pursue a career as a nurse helping children. Watch Lily’s video or read her essay to learn more about Lily’s self-motiviation, drive, and thoughtfulness.

Read Lily's Essay:

A fortuitous conversation, an idea to help others, and a little creativity; these three things led me to form a charity called Lily’s League ( when I was twelve years old. In the last six years I have donated over $230,000 worth of items to underserved children, but the lessons I have learned while growing my charity are priceless.

I have learned that volunteering in a community is important for several reasons. Volunteering allows individuals to give back to their community and contribute to making it a better place. Additionally, as I have found through Lily’s League, volunteering can provide opportunities for personal growth and development, such as learning new skills and building confidence. Individuals can connect and build relationships through volunteering, something that I treasure with Lily’s League. I also believe that volunteering can allow individuals to make a difference in the lives of others and create a positive impact, as well as have a sense of belonging.

In 2016, I was juggling a soccer ball when Max Touloute, a professional soccer player, approached me and offered a few tips for better ball control. That conversation led to a brief understanding of his background, which forever moved me.

Max grew up in a rural, coastal town in Haiti. He enlightened me on the cultural and socioeconomic differences between our two countries, and specifically how they relate to the game of soccer. I learned that most children in Haiti repurpose scrunched up plastic bags, woven into a tightly formed spherical mass, to serve as their “soccer ball”. Due to the extreme level of poverty in Haiti, most children play without safety gear such as shin guards.

Instantly, I wanted to help. I remembered that my family had soccer cleats and shin guards in our garage that no longer fit my two sisters and me. That night, I devised a plan to collect even more gear from my soccer team. Soon thereafter, moms from other teams at my elementary school heard about my collection drive and wanted to help. Additionally, I communicated with my coaches, trainers, and soccer leagues I knew in the area. After fielding several of their calls and emails, I realized I needed to get better organized. I formed Lily’s League, created donation bins, and built my website dedicated to my cause.

A few months after my conversation with Max, I shipped three full pallets of soccer gear to an organization in Haiti. They were incredibly grateful, but explained that they needed even more help. Hearing this, I reached out to three professional soccer teams and several other high school coaches in Kansas City. A surge of incoming donations quickly filled the small corner of my garage, so I asked my father to help me lease a small storage unit.

Upon researching other locations where Haitian children played, I discovered an organization in Miami, Florida called The Little Haiti Futbol Club (LHFC). Similar to areas in Haiti, athletes in this club also come from areas stricken with poverty. With every donation trip to Haiti and the Little Haiti Miami area, I have developed a connection and relationship with a few of the children who love soccer as much as I do. Our conversations go deeper than soccer; we spend several hours discussing our cultural differences and the commonalities we share. Listening to their experiences opened my eyes to the issues that exist with resource distribution, such as access to health care, peer rejection, social isolation, and availability of after school programs. I learned some players at LHFC have to take a city bus to practice because the notion of a “soccer mom” doesn’t exist in their households. In 2018, a referee would not allow a fifteen year old boy at LHFC was not allowed by the referee to play in a game. The reason? He showed up to a tournament with extra small shin guards; they barely covered his shins and did not provide the necessary protection. Yet, this is all the mom could afford. His little brother’s shin guards. He sat on the bench while his teammates played the game. My next shipment to LHFC had thirty two pairs of shin guards, and I was sure to include large and extra large sizes.

As for the children in Léogane and Destra, Haiti, my donations mean even more to them. I think my donations demonstrate to them there are people outside of their community that care about their well-being and give them hope in a somewhat bleak and impoverished environment of despair.

I have also raised cash for the organizations that I support. I managed two “Kendra Scott Gives Back” community giving programs at a local Kendra Scott retail store. Before each event, I worked with Kendra Scott's social media team to promote our joint donation drive. Additionally, I created educational flyers and donation drive bins for store customers on the day of the events. While in the store, I engaged customers and educated them on how a portion of their proceeds for that day would go towards supporting children who need soccer gear to play safely. Together, at these events in 2019 and 2021, I raised $1,100 which I donated to LHFC.

In class, I find myself reflecting on how socioeconomic factors influence the educational opportunities and health care for my friends in Little Haiti and the children in Haiti. My personal growth and cultural awareness through Lily’s League over the last six years has undoubtedly shaped my career choice and given me confidence as a leader. I have always planned for a career in the healthcare industry as a nurse; now I want to channel my passion for the sciences and tailor my nursing career to assist underserved communities. Children will assuredly be my focus.

Through Lily’s League I have learned that with a little compassion and persistence, we can all come together to help make our communities, however defined in scope or geography, a little better.

Back to Top