October 29, 2020 by Cathy Stack
Adom’s nonprofit, “Ball4Good” assists various organizations that serve children with fundraising through sports. The organization has creatively connected the love people have for sports with the needs of the community. The idea is brilliant. The players have fun participating while raising funds for worthy causes. The games also serve to spread positivity and to unite the community.
Amazingly this innovative organization was a result of Adom’s 7th grade school assignment. At age 12, his History teacher, Mrs. Kelsea Turner, at Spartanburg Day School, had challenged her students to dedicate 20% of their class time to a service project. She suggested that they research a community need and then work independently on finding a solution. Adom was inspired.
Adom had great passion for playing sports, he was both a varsity soccer and JV basketball player. So, he naturally thought of combining sports and community support into an athletics-oriented service project. His idea was to invite local college and professional athletes, leaders and celebrities to play ball games to raise money for local charities.
With guidance from Mary Thomas (COO of the Spartan County Foundation) and family support, “Ball4Good” held its first “Celebrity Basketball Game” in 2017. He used donations received on his 13th birthday as seed money for the event. It was a huge success, drawing 800 spectators and benefiting a Boys and Girls Club. He has since raised over $70,000 for 13 local charities.
The organization has since grown into a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit. Adom’s idea has transformed into a movement that is helping communities through various ways such as; celebrity sport events, charity drives, fundraising, and grant making. It donates raised funds to various causes affecting children, such as autism, homelessness, abuse and cancer. They have supported amazing organizations such as; St. Jude’s Children Research Hospitals, Boy Scouts and the Hope Center for Children.
When it was time to recruit celebrities to participate, Adom was not shy about making “cold calls” to get the job done. Some of their impressive celebrity players have included; Zion Williamson (NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans); Anthony Ianni (Michigan State), and former NFL player Landon Cohen.
“He's a deeply purposeful guy,” his former teacher commented of Adom. He has said that the most rewarding part of his work was in meeting the children “Ball4Good” benefited.
If all these accomplishments were not enough, the teen has also authored three motivational children’s books to inspire students to change the world and bounce back from failures. Donations from book sales have supported several charitable causes. In addition, he found time to participate twice in the Scripps National Spelling Bees in Washington, D.C. He also won a National Award (Gloria Barron for Young Heroes, 2019) that comes with a $10,000 prize for his public service efforts. Having multiple projects has not slowed Adom down, as he is currently hosting his own show called “Kids Changing the World,” on Marjv TV.
“I try to have kids involved in every step of the way so they can figure out how things work in the business and philanthropist world,” Adom said. He wants people to know that success starts with believing in yourself. Adom says his goal is to expand Ball4Good’s reach. He believes that by encouraging others to get involved, he’s multiplying his impact. His hope is that other kids rise to the challenge and use their own passions to help make a positive difference. He wants to show young people that with determination, perseverance, and hard work, they can achieve their goals as well.
“Adom represents the best of what the future holds for our community and for the world,” said his mentor Mary Thomas. PassItOn agrees. His message to youth is that they too can make a difference. It is their youthful energy and optimism that drives things to happen. Adom aims high and dreams big and in doing so inspires us all. His remarkable work serving the less fortunate exemplifies the value of “Helping others.” Please join us in honoring this young hero, Adom Appiah by sharing his uplifting and inspiring story.
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photo credit - Ball4Good