kottke.org posts about Tim Jahnigen

A soccer ball for everyoneNov 14 2012

Frustrated by the lack of durability of traditional soccer balls and encouraged by an investment by Sting, Tim Jahnigen invented and is selling a more durable ball made out of hard foam.

Tim Jahnigen has always followed his heart, whether as a carpenter, a chef, a lyricist or now as an entrepreneur. So in 2006, when he saw a documentary about children in Darfur who found solace playing soccer with balls made out of garbage and string, he was inspired to do something about it.

The children, he learned, used trash because the balls donated by relief agencies and sporting goods companies quickly ripped or deflated on the rocky dirt that doubled as soccer fields. Kicking a ball around provided such joy in otherwise stressful and trying conditions that the children would play with practically anything that approximated a ball.

"The only thing that sustained these kids is play," said Mr. Jahnigen of Berkeley, Calif. "Yet the millions of balls that are donated go flat within 24 hours."

You can buy one online and for every ball that you buy, one will be donated to a community in need.

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