January 20, 2023

Underdog Sports Donates

Soccer Cleats for Ukraine

Before the war, a day in the life of a Ukrainian child would likely include watching or playing in a soccer (called football in Ukraine) match. Soccer, the most popular sport in Ukraine, brought joy to a lot of Ukrainian children and teens. But, as the war began and survival became the focus of each person’s life, their beloved sport was left behind. Soccer cleats and balls became just another piece of the dirt and rubble that reflected their life before the war. There was no time or mental energy to play or think about soccer. Safety and family were all that mattered. 

As the war continues on, many have found solace away from their homes, their belongings, and their friends. Children had to experience unthinkable trauma, and their lives are nowhere near back to normal. 

But, there is at least one piece of normalcy that is possible: soccer. 

While they make new friends with new neighbors in their temporary homes, children and teens need the joy that comes from the sport they love – all they need is the equipment. 

Paul Layton, owner of Underdog Sports in Springfield, IL, came to Midwest Mission with a desire to get involved in our efforts for Ukraine.

“With the news about what’s going on in Ukraine, we’ve seen a lot of kids and teens struggling, so we wanted to try to do something,” Paul said.

After researching, Underdog Sports found that soccer (football) was the #1 sport played in Ukraine. They quickly prepared a donation that will be included in the next shipment to Ukraine.

Paul and the staff at Underdog Sports knew that being able to play soccer would allow these children who have experienced high levels of trauma to just feel like kids. They would be able to play like they used to, running through the grass with their friends chasing after them. 

On Wednesday, January 18, Underdog Sports donated 31 pairs of soccer cleats that will be sent to Ukraine. Like everything in their store, the donated cleats are washed and bleached in detergent, so they are clean and sanitary, ready to be worn and played in. 

“We put together this small donation, we’ll see how this goes. And then we will try to do… no, not try to do… we WILL do more! We’ll call upon our customers, and we will get an official soccer drive going for Ukraine,” Paul said.

Thank you, Underdog Sports, for your generous donation. These cleats will be a big blessing for the children and teens who receive them. You are not only giving the gift of a sport, but also the gifts of joy and peace in a time of crisis. 

New Midwest Mission Website

One of the newest projects we have been working on is an update to our website. Now, it should be easier to find what you need, and easier to share about Midwest Mission, what we do, and how you can be involved.

Share the new website with someone you want to serve with!

Go to midwestmission.org to see the changes.

Every year, we make changes to our kits. It is important that you get rid of any old kit lists that you have so that you can stay up to date on what we are currently putting in our kits. The list only changes once a year. Above are the changes for 2023.

For a new 2023 Kit Brochure, go to midwestmission.org/promotional-material

Prayers to Lift Up

This week, pray for the volunteers who will come to Midwest Mission this year. Pray they will arrive safely, have the energy to serve with all of their heart, and that they will feel the joy that comes from service.

"Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!"

Psalm 32:11

Midwest Mission Weekly Projects

Work of the Mission Volunteers

Projects completed

  • 1850 Student Kits
  • 10 Feminine Hygiene Kits

Other work done

  • Bikes - repairing, cleaning shop
  • Desks - polyurethane, building
  • Sewing Machines - repairing treadle machines
  • Counting items into inventory
  • Cleaning


  • Sew Much Joy, Glen Carbon, IL: hand towels, washcloths, and medical exam gloves Value: $1,425.00
  • Maryville Food Pantry, Maryville, IL: redirect cleaning and hygiene supplies Value: $204.00
  • Kentucky Mountain Mission, Beattyville, KY: redirect clothing Value: $11,450.00
  • CICIM, Decatur, IL: redirect hygiene supplies Value: $3,068.00
  • St. Martin de Porres, Springfield, IL: redirect hygiene supplies Value: $3,068.00

                      *Redirected items are those items received that do not fit into the parameters of our kits and projects.

Midwest Mission is able to do this work because of your generous donations and willingness to volunteer. Thank you!

Share some GOD news with those you love!

Do you have family or friends that need some GOOD News - GOD News - to uplift them? If so please click on the button below and share the link provided. The more we can spread the word about the work God is doing here, the more we can make the world a happier place.

Link to Share the Midwest Mission Newsletter

Ready to Get Involved?

Schedule Your Mission Journey

Dates are available in 2023 and 2024

Need a Saturday option for team volunteering

or assistance in booking?

Contact Pat Wright at pat@midwestmission.org

or 217-697-4063

Click below to check calendar openings and to reserve your spots.

Mission Journey  Reservation Calendar

Volunteers at Work

January 16-20, 2023

Volunteer Leaders

Jeff & Jane Johnson

Glen Carbon, IL

Chuck & Karen Porter

Brighton, IL

Volunteer Teams and Individuals

Troy UMC Youth

Troy, IL

Grace UMC

Jacksonville, IL

Simpson Group

Springfield, IL

Taylorville UMC

Taylorville, IL

Douglas Avenue UMC

Springfield, IL

Monticello UMC

Monticello, IL

Frazee and Friends

Chatham, IL

Clarence Harms

Brillion, WI

We are so grateful for all our regular volunteers, and the time they give towards volunteering at Midwest Mission. We appreciate their passion and dedication to the ministry!

Click Here for the UMVIM NCJ Newsletter
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