Major League Soccer announced today that New York Red Bulls midfielder Seth Stammler won the 2010 MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Year Award for his charitable work in the Caribbean nation of Haiti and the local New York/New Jersey metropolitan community.
“I am surprised and extremely honored to receive this award,” said Stammler, the longest continuously tenured Red Bull who retired from professional soccer at the end of the 2010 season. “I want to thank the Red Bulls, the Sporting Chance Foundation board members, donors and sponsors, as well as my friends and family, for their support in my efforts. While I am proud about what I have already accomplished through my foundation, there is a lot of work to be done and I am committed to continue to aid the Haitian people to the best of my ability.”
A four-time team Humanitarian of the Year, Stammler founded and oversees Sporting Chance Foundation, a 501(c)(3) certified nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals in Haiti – known as one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere. Stammler was inspired to create his own foundation after visiting Haiti on a six-day service trip at the end of 2006. SCF’s main aims are to provide educational scholarships and water wells that produce potable water for the Haitian people. Already, Stammler and his foundation have built a water well that supplies clean water for over 9,000 Haitians. In addition, SCF has granted over 60 scholarships to aspiring Haitian students.
With the tragic Haitian earthquake earlier this year, SCF intensified its efforts to give relief aid to people in need. Along with the water well, which stayed intact despite the earthquake, Stammler and SCF helped raised thousands of dollars through a number of fundraisers, raffles and other events. Stammler, who visited Haiti in December 2009 and plans to do so again later this year, planned numerous projects that would benefit Haiti, including private fan tours of Red Bull Arena with his teammates. Two new initiatives that Stammler is currently involved in are building two more water wells in Haiti and starting a Cash for Work Program that provides jobs to Haitians who were devastated by the earthquake. For more information regarding SCF, log onto SportingChanceFoundation.org.
Aside from his work on Sporting Chance Foundation, Stammler has also dedicated his time off the field to a variety of different aims including volunteering at his local YMCA, participating in clinics for underprivileged children throughout the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area and in his native Ohio. Stammler also donates his time to the charitable organization, Athletes for Charity.
Stammler was drafted by New York in 2004 out of the University of Maryland in the second round (18th overall). During his career, he featured in 142 regular season games, making 126 starts and scoring six goals and 13 assists. This season, Stammler recorded 21 appearances, tallying two goals and an assist.