ENGLEWOOD, N.J.– A love of sports and the desire to help the community have united siblings Julia and Jacob Jureidini of Wood-Ridge and friend Stefen Shaffer of Hasbrouck Heights in organizing a charity basketball tournament in Englewood.
The July 9 event, which runs from 1-5 p.m. at City Sports, will benefit the Covenant House in Jersey City.
"Our goal right now is to raise $2,000," Julia Jureidini told Daily Voice. "We set up an online drive so people can donate money, and we will collect money from each player and spectator during the tournament ."
Clothing will also be collected.
"We want to collect as much new fitness apparel and new sneakers as possible for the homeless youth that are currently at Covenant House," said Jureidini, 16, who attends Immaculate Heart Academy in Washington Township.
She collects donations from local stores and runs the charity's social media pages while recruiting volunteers.
Jacob, an incoming Don Bosco freshman who plays hockey, and Shaffer, a basketball and soccer player at Hasbrouck Heights High School, are organizing the teams and also collecting donations.
"I don’t think people are aware of how many teens are homeless," said Joe Dawkins, who trains the Jureidinis and Shaffer and will help with the event.
The double elimination tournament will feature eight 5-man teams comprised of players aged 14-16, Dawkins said.
If all goes well, "we’ll continue to do this on an annual basis," Dawkins added.