Reflection written by Amy Liddy, Matt’s sister and Jake’s mother.
In February of 2012, I watched an episode of Super Soul Sunday on OWN. On the episode, Oprah interviewed Pam Cope, the co-founder of Touch A Life Foundation. Pam spoke passionately about her book, Jantsen’s Gift, telling the story of the loss of her son. She also spoke from the heart about the work being done by the Touch A Life Foundation. I was so inspired by the work that she and her husband were doing to free enslaved children in Ghana. I remember being overcome by a feeling of gratitude for these people.
My siblings and I had been trying to come up with a way to honor the memory of our brother, Matt, who had passed away in January of 2010. In a quiet moment following the show, I knew that sponsoring a child at the Touch A Life Care Center in Ghana was something that Matt would have been thrilled about. He spent his entire life as a swim coach and mentor to many age group swimmers as well as college athletes. He had a positive impact on so many children and young adults in his career. Like him, the Touch a Life Foundation has a significant positive impact on the lives of many children. The work that they do brings hope, health, love, comfort, and joy to children who would not have had opportunities for an abundant life.
Since 2012, my family and I have been sponsoring one of the children at the Touch a Life Care Center. When my son, Jake, was preparing to do his senior project in high school I asked him if he would like the project to in some way benefit the Touch A Life Care Center. We contacted the Touch A Life team to find out what the children would really enjoy. We were told that they had a dirt basketball court that was unusable when it rained and that a concrete basketball court with permanent hoops would be a great addition. Jake has enjoyed playing basketball since he was young and was excited to raise money to build a court. He planned a 3-on-3 basketball tournament for the local school age children. Jake organized friends and family who were happy to volunteer at the tournament. The kids had a great time. Thanks to the generosity of many, Jake was able to raise the funds to build the court. When asked by the Touch A Life staff what he would like to name the court, Jake replied, Opportunity Court. His hope is that the children at the Care Center will have the opportunity to unite in community with their friends and be just like any kids growing up playing basketball. We are grateful for those who work so passionately for the Touch A Life Care Center. They are giving the children there the opportunity for a healthy, happy, abundant life.