Thank you Shane for the opportunity to help on Saturday. It was such a privilege to be able to inspire, encourage, help and love these kids. I was truly touched and blessed and cant wait to help again. You do such an amazing job and helping these kids feel special and wanted is awesome. Thank you again and God Bless you.
“A young girl in the camp had said over and over that she hated basketball, main reason being that she did not make a shot all day. During one of the scrimmage games she went down the court with the ball around one of the opposing players and made a basket. Everyone cheered and she just lit up. She whipped her hair around and cheered; she did awesome. It was good that the kids were in small groups and ‘traveled’ together to the different coaches; it made them a team. It took just a little bit at the beginning to get the kids to open up during the drills. I think a few of them were a little self-conscious. After about 15 minutes they were into the clinic and did well for the whole two hours.”
“The first time I showed up to help at a PAI event, I had no idea what to expect. Part of me wondered if any of the kids in these situations would even be interested in playing basketball with us. Within the first few minutes, I was completely blown away by their enthusiasm. I was amazed at how many smiles could be created by a simple dribbling drill. I got more and more energized every time I heard one of the kids ask “when are you guys coming back again?” The experience really revealed how powerful sports can be in influencing the lives of children. If you watch Shane and the rest of the people at PAI, it is easy to see how much passion they have for the mission of the company. It was truly a blessing for me to be a part of it.”
“Shane Hanson’s mission to reach out to the troubled youth of the world is aspiring. Shane and his volunteers do a remarkable job in using sports as a platform for teaching life skills, shaping character and learning how to work with others.”
“Shane Hanson and Progression Athletics International put together an amazing benefit for the kids at Casa Pacifica. They were able to learn a lot about the sport of basketball, but most of all, they had fun. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be involved!”
“I give all the respect in the world to Shane and Progression Athletics International. Their projects and programs are a godsend to many children who have been “written off” and provides a place to have clean safe fun. I had the opportunity to help PAI at an event in Camarillo, and I left feeling so fulfilled and happy to assist PAI in their mission. I will definitely continue to provide my support whenever I can, and I wish PAI nothing but success into the future!”
“When I arrived at the orphanage I didn’t really know what to expect from the kids, but when we met and exchanged names they seemed nervous just like I was. As we moved on from meeting the children, Shane Hanson encouraged the kids to get active while doing the warm up drills. Most of the kids responded within a couple minutes after realizing that Mr. Hanson and his crew (which I participated in) were there to just have fun and enjoy playing the game of basketball. I particularly enjoyed watching the kids forget about their problems and run around the court with nothing on their mind except for having fun. This world is unpredictable and unfair, especially to these young kids. That’s why I think PAI is such a great organization to invest in, because that couple of hours for a kid to actually FORGET and not have it near their minds of all the problems they face, can be a life saver. Overall the experience was outstanding and out of this world! The feeling of helping others in this organization is something indescribable.”
“It was a good opportunity to help the less fortunate because some of the kids may not have a lot to look forward to. They may not have a lot of resources but we brought them something to enjoy, the game of basketball! It was also a lot of fun helping out, because I got to enjoy my favorite sport with kids in need. I realize that I`m very lucky to live the life I live and am looking forward to ever helping out again soon.”
The PAI 2013 Europe Trip was a life changing experience. Serbia was the first European country I’ve been to and I could not have asked for a prettier country, more hospitable people, or sweeter children to visit. Novi Sad is a beautiful city that was easy to navigate. The people are beautiful inside and out as well. I truly felt taken care of in this city whether our group already knew our contacts or we were meeting them for the first time. The children’s village was something that I started missing the last day we were there working with the kids. While they have all the basic needs in life (enough food, clean clothes, and a roof over their heads) you could see they were in need of positive relationships. I made strong bonds with several children that I will keep in contact with until I return next year. One of the most inspiring observations over the week we spent with the Serbian children is how they not only connected with us quickly but how their relationships with each other evolved from competing with each other to helping and looking out for or nurturing each other. There were a couple of kids who wanted to keep the balls or toys for themselves the first day we arrived but by the end of the week they were gladly sharing toys in games and playing together amongst themselves instead of competing against each other. When we left Novi Sad I truly felt I was leaving family behind. There is a feeling you get from Serbia and its people that they sincerely care about you just like when you leave home. With that feeling the ‘goodbye’ felt more like a ‘see you soon. It was the end of a visit but not the end of a relationship—I will definitely be joining PAI in returning to Serbia. When we arrived in Thessaloniki Greece I didn’t realize just how outcast the gypsy community is. They are true survivors that do what they can to keep their families alive. One of the reasons for the strong negative image is the culture of stealing and dishonesty that is the way a lot of families stay alive. The particular community we visited was one that was trying to change the negative stigma by making Christianity a strong part of their lives. The children were some of the most beautiful babies I’d ever seen. They all had this wonderful light in their eyes that was filled with excitement and curiosity. They were also extremely affectionate with each other and us. Not a minute would go by without receiving a hug, or have our hair braided by the little girls. They were very generous too. I brought home several bracelets that different children gave me. It was sweet seeing the excitement in the children when we gave them our gifts; they wanted to share what we had given them with us as well. The children I connected with didn’t seem to leave my side the entire time I was with them. There was a strong sense of family among the children that I really admired. The children and their families may not have had much but they certainly took care of each other as much as they could. I strongly admired that in all the families. Progression Athletics International is a wonderful organization that I am so fortunate to be apart of. Not only does Shane take care of each individual that embarks on the journey with him, but he also makes you feel like family from day one. I am very blessed to be apart of the PAI family and I cannot wait to return to Serbia and visit the new friends we will make in new and different countries.
The youth had a great time! It was wonderful to see the youth from various organizations interact with one another in a positive manner and truly enjoy themselves.
PAI provided me with the opportunity to volunteer with children who are in less fortunate situations. Through this opportunity I was able to see how sports bring children of all ages together. Many of the children had never thrown or kicked a football before and through PAI they were able to experience this. Also being able to show the girls they too can be a part of this sport and helping them build their confidence felt like a great accomplishment for me. The excitement and joy on the children's faces is unforgettable and I cannot wait to volunteer again!
The PAI event I participated in at Orangewood was such a fulfilling experience. It was immediately apparent as the kids came racing into the gym how much they appreciate "play time." Many of the older kids sat on the sidelines skeptically watching as the program started. It was very cool to see that one by one they joined in the activities as they did not want to miss out on the fun. It was amazing to see how the kids reacted positively to the drills and obediently listened and did what was asked of them.
For two hours I felt like I was able to be a brother, father, or friend to these kids. Whatever I was to them, it felt like I was filling a gap in their lives- at least for a Saturday. I look forward to further participation in PAI events!"
I'm not sure what I was expecting to experience on the 2013 PAI European Tour. I have a heart for loving people, especially kids, but wasn't sure how well I would do in light of my own weaknesses: being tired from travel, being shy, having the language barrier, etc. After just one day I have found myself absolutely grateful for this experience and it was only beginning! No money or material thing could've made my day with 40 orphaned children any better; just going to their village with the intent of spending my time, energy and attention on them was 'enough' for them and absolutely made their day. When I saw how appreciative they were just for a little bit of my time, I understood why we were created for community, and why relating to others is so important. It brightens gloomy days, dries tears of heartbreak, heals wounds....investing in others changes lives.
"I want to commend Shane Hanson and Progression Athletics International(PAI) for putting on such an wonderful event for the kids at the David and Margaret Homes. Based on the mission and goals of PAI, I knew it was going to be a great benefit for the kids but the event completely blew me away. There were more kids than were anticipated and Shane may due with the space available and made it fun and enjoyable for the kids that attended.
I enjoyed assisting as a volunteer and helping the kids learn the game of basketball was priceless. At the end of the clinic, Shane hands out four trophies. I will never forget the look on the kids faces as they walked away with the trophy in their hands for good sportsmanship. I feel that the 2-3 hours that the kids spent with PAI will have a lasting, positive impression on their lives as they move forward.