Little Vikings of Austin

Good boys on a mission!!

They have been brushed aside, pushed past and almost walked on. Brian Corbin, 12, Levon Carothers, 13, and Martese Pope, 13, and their teammates are on a mission this week to raise money for their football team, The Vikings, from Levin Park, in the Austin neighborhood.

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Brian Corbin, 12; Levon Carothers, 13; and Martese Pope 13, sell “Increase the Peace” braceletes, to help raise funds for their football team’s season.

You’ll see these young men, with their coach not far off, wearing bright gold jerseys with black letters proudly displaying their team “Vikings” outside of the James R. Thompson center trying to sell their “Increase the Peace” bracelets to help raise money for their football program for only $1.00.

Just before stepping out of the Thompson center today, I saw the disappointment on these kids’ faces as a man hurriedly walked away while young Martese was presenting his case. I hate to see any kid hurt so I walked right up to him and said, “What is this”?

I’m a  true skeptic, and I am used to (and annoyed by) a lot of the inner-city kids coming to the downtown area trying to scam people with their fake scholarship, church and sports pitches. But I noticed the boys all had matching jerseys so I stopped and took a listen to their plea.

Levon, seeing his colleague confronted, quickly came over and also gave his 2 cents to my question and quickly added, “we need uniforms and other things to play this season.” I was touched and immediately impressed by these young men. As I pulled a dollar out of my purse, smart as these boys are, the other quickly said, “Why not buy one from each of us, it’ll really help us”. I smiled at them and did just that. I was in love with their mission.

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This is exactly the thing I don’t mind being stopped for during my busy day for. These boys were on a direct mission, took to the streets, not to fight or cause mayhem, but to raise money for their team and for what they love to do. To hopefully create something in their neighborhood, simply for them to enjoy and be safe.

With all the sadness, crime, news of children dying every night and violence that plagues the inner-city streets of Chicago, wouldn’t one think people should take a moment to take a listen to some of the kids when they approach you for their cause?

These boys were simply trying to do something positive for their community but like most of us,  need some support and there’s nothing wrong with that! I, for one, was really touched and thrilled to help my new friends and wish I could do more. Can you? Will you?

To help donate to the Vikings Football team or for more information or to find out what the kids need for their football program call 312-287-7658.

It may just save one child’s life.

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