Time Off The Turf Header
We’ve all learned the incredible importance of community over the past two years, which is why we’re launching a new monthly email called Time Off the Turf to highlight some of the off-field projects, activities and/or accomplishments of both our coaches and athletes.

First up from our #fambush is Kelsey Melando, who has been a coach within our community since 2012 and is currently our U12 Program Head, as well as a Head Coach with our U16 program. She has also rather recently taken over the reins of the Myers Park Field Hockey program as their new Varsity Head Coach.

Outside of coaching, Kelsey volunteers as a Youth Advisor at her church and is incredibly involved with The Lunch Project, a Charlotte-based charitable organization. She shared some thoughts with us below about how she got involved and her recent trip to Tanzania:

“Since 2017, the youth community at St. John's Episcopal, where my husband grew up and we’ve both served as advisors since 2013 (fun fact: it’s also where we met!), began fundraising for The Lunch Project (an outstanding organization that we’ve served as supporters, volunteers and all-advocates of since 2013) through a 30-hour hunger event known as Fill the Bowl.

Last month, we were able to finally travel to Tanzania (a trip that was delayed by many months due to covid) and witness first-hand the impact that the pandemic has had. The students we serve are primarily Maasai, a pastoral culture where it’s common for children to forgo school in favor of supporting their family at market, especially when times are tough. The hot lunch that we provide to over 5,000 students at six schools serves to incentivize attendance and stave off poor performance due to malnutrition. The Lunch Project was born out of the belief that providing lunch at school a critical component to helping children complete primary school and receive the education necessary to change their path in life.

As a direct result of the pandemic, we have less youth fundraising and a country struggling to recover from the ripple effects of an absence in tourism. For these reasons (amongst others), we’ve challenged ourselves to raise $10,000 together in support of The Lunch Project through Fill the Bowl.

We’re asking that you please consider donating any amount (it all makes a discernible difference and is tax deductible) to a deserving cause and community!

  • For $15, you can feed 8 students lunch for the entire school year.
  • For $100, you can feed 50 students lunch for the entire school year.
  • For $250, you feed 1️25 students lunch for the entire school year.
  • For $500, you can help cover the cost of all cups, buckets and plastic items for the entire school year for cooking, serving and eating.
  • For $1,000, you can help us hire a group of mamas (the cooks) for an entire school year, helping the local economy cook
  • For $5,000 you can help feed an entire school for half of the school year!
To learn a little more about why we’re taking on this challenge and to donate, please visit our fundraising page.”

We hope you enjoyed our first edition of Time Off the Turf and we thank you for being a part of our field hockey family!