WASHINGTON – The 2013 season has not been the most rewarding for D.C. United captain Dwayne De Rosario and his club in terms of on-field results, but that has not stopped De Rosario from continuing his contributions off the field. Regularly involved in the community of each stop during his 13-year career, De Rosario has continued working this year with Kicks for Kids, United for D.C. and De Ro's Stars. For these efforts, De Rosario has been awarded the MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Month award for October.
“Any award is an honor, but especially an award like Humanitarian [of the Month],” De Rosario told MLSsoccer.com. “It’s something outside the game that I take a lot of pride in, giving back to the local community here in D.C. and working with the United for D.C. program and providing opportunities for kids that aren’t fortunate enough to come and see a game here and give them that experience.”
Some of the many services United for D.C. provides to the community through the league-wide Kicks for Kids program is to provide non-profits and other community-based organizations with access to free tickets, meals and team apparel, as well as special seating and postgame autographs. In his own initiative, DeRo’s Stars, De Rosario invites kids from underprivileged families, who might otherwise be unable to afford match tickets, to attend games and go onto the field, where they meet De Rosario and have a chance to take pictures and request autographs. This year, De Rosario has already welcomed more than 500 kids to RFK Stadium.
“Who knows? If we could spark one child’s interest to become the next DeRo or the next star for D.C. United, that would be great," De Rosario said. "But the main thing is to just show them that people do care, athletes do care and take an interest in the kids."
This season, De Rosario, who has played for five MLS clubs, has donated $10,000 to United for D.C. in a continued effort serve the community, part of United's stated club mission.
“Obviously this year’s been difficult for us, especially at home,” De Rosario said. “After the games, the kids are just happy to see you, and they’re not really worried about the results as much as I am. To see them smiling, it gives me hope and makes me appreciate what I do as a professional player.”
2013 MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Month Award Winners
March - Jeb Brovsky, Montreal Impact
April - Calen Carr, Houston Dynamo
May - Portland Timbers
June - Jon Busch, San Jose Earthquakes
July - Gonzalo Segares, Chicago Fire
August - Lamar Neagle, Seattle Sounders
September - Matt Lampson, Columbus Crew
October - Dwayne De Rosario, D.C. United