Skip to main content

Oswego Father and Daughter Bringing Joy to Guatemalan Children

Feb 14, 2017 10:07PM, Published by Steven Jack, Categories: News, Community, Police


Dan and Abbey Kipper started Fun for a Change five years ago and in that time have donated over 1,800 soccer balls to children in Guatemala. (Submitted photos)



When most people retire, they don’t have much of an idea of how they’ll fill their days.
 
But that’s not the case for Sgt. Dan Kipper, who retired last month after 18 years on the Oswego Police Department. No, Kipper will be spending his time continuing the work of the service organization he started with his daughter Abbey in 2012 — Fun for a Change.
 
Fun for a Change collects soccer balls to give as Christmas gifts to impoverished children in the Central American nation of Guatemala. In the last five years Dan and Abbey have collected over 1,800 balls that are given away through relief agency Amigos de Vamos Adelante.
 
“When we started this I thought I would just go around and collect soccer balls from people’s garages in town,” said Abbey, who graduated form OHS in 2013 and is currently a senior at Moody Bible Institute. “It’s turned out to be so much more than that.”
 
Fun for a Change began after Abbey developed a pen pal relationship with a teen in Guatamala. Having a history of volunteering in the community, Abbey said she began to think about the needs there and how she could help out.
 
“I don’t have a particular interest in soccer or soccer balls, but it was a matter of finding out what the needs were and fulfilling those needs,” Abbey said.
 
Abbey and Dan have visited Guatemala three times to help deliver their gifts first-hand. Dan said children will travel for several hours and wait in long lines just to get a shot at receiving a ball.
 
“The first time we went down I thought ‘we’ll just help out here and we’ll be done”, but when you get there you realize you have to do more,” Dan said. “… I guess my goal now is to make sure that every child that stands in line will be able to receive a gift.”
 
Dan said he plans to travel to Guatemala again this December. So far, he’s been able to collect about 90 soccer balls with a goal of 500 this year. Dan’s co-workers at the Oswego Police Department sent him into retirement with a gift of 23 balls.
 
“It was a great retirement gift,” he said. “To me it just said that they know what is near and dear to my heart.”
 
Dan said they’ve also received donations in the past from Oswego Walmart, the Oswegoland Park District, the Oswego YMCA, Boombah, OHS, OEHS and Millbrook United Methodist Church.
 
“The community support has been amazing,” Dan said. “We’ve been so blessed in our country and to have an opportunity to give back is an incredible feeling.”

TO DONATE TO FUN FOR A CHANGE, VISIT DAN AND ABBEY'S GOFUNDME PAGE
 
As for other plans for his retirement, Dan said he also will be helping those who need it with home improvement projects, which is a skill he said he learned from his father.
 
“When I grew up we didn’t have a lot,” Dan said. “My parents gave us the gift of love and we try to share that too.”

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Only Oswego's free newsletter to catch every headline



  • 21st Century Interviewing Skills

    02/25/2017
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Develop your interviewing skills in this interactive workshop. There'll be plenty of time for que...


  • Descendants at West Aurora High School

    02/25/2017
    11:00AM — 09:00PM

    Have a Descendants fan in your house?!? Bring them to see it live on stage as we bring Mal, Ben...


  • 80s Charity Bunco

    02/25/2017
    06:30PM — 10:00PM

    Please join us for a fun night of rolling dice for a great cause. This year’s theme is “I love t...


  • Spoon River

    02/25/2017
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    The Oswegoland Park District’s Limelight Theater Company proudly presents Spoon River, February 2...


  • Coffee with Kifowit

    02/27/2017
    08:30AM — 09:30AM

    If you would like to enjoy a cup of coffee and have an informal chat about the issues important t...


  • Winter Reading

    02/27/2017
    09:00AM — 09:00PM

    For adults and children of all ages! Make your way to the library for Winter Reading Fun. Read, l...


  • Games for Grownups

    02/27/2017
    06:30PM — 08:30PM

    Welcome to the new world of board games! Join us as we enjoy snacks, and play such games as Ticke...


  • Medicare Discussions

    02/28/2017
    10:00AM — 11:00AM

    This month at the Oswego Senior Center we will discuss original Medicare Supplement Plan options ...


  • Morning Coffee Break and a Book

    02/28/2017
    10:30AM — 11:30AM

    This month's selection is The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Moshin Hamid. Get your copy at the Chec...


  • Mardi Gras Dinner

    02/28/2017
    04:00PM — 08:00PM

    Enjoy our unique twists on classics such as poutine, gumbo, jambalaya, muffaletta, and more. À l...


  • Fox Valley Writer's Group

    02/28/2017
    07:00PM — 08:30PM

    The Fox Valley Writers group is dedicated to the idea of helping writers of all skill levels conn...


  • Fabyan Villa Museum & Japanese Garden open

    03/01/2017
    01:00PM — 04:30PM

    The Fabyan Villa Museum and Japanese Garden will return to a public hours schedule starting on Su...


  • Jumpstart

    03/01/2017
    03:00PM — 05:00PM

    Know what you want and where you're going? Just need a little help in getting there? JUMPSTART ...


  • Fabyan Villa Museum & Japanese Garden open

    03/02/2017
    01:00PM — 04:30PM

    The Fabyan Villa Museum and Japanese Garden will return to a public hours schedule starting on Su...


  • The Holmstad Helping Hearts

    03/02/2017
    01:30PM — 02:30PM

    The Holmstad Helping Hearts, a free support group for caregivers of loved ones with dementia, is ...


  • Evening Book Discussion Group

    03/02/2017
    07:00PM — 08:30PM

    This month's selection is "H is for Hawk" by Helen MacDonald. Copies will be available at Februar...


  • Sign Language Class

    03/03/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    Do you have trouble hearing? Always saying, “What did you say?” Get support and learn a new way...


  • 21st Century Interviewing Skills

    02/25/2017
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Develop your interviewing skills in this interactive workshop. There'll be plenty of time for que...


  • Descendants at West Aurora High School

    02/25/2017
    11:00AM — 09:00PM

    Have a Descendants fan in your house?!? Bring them to see it live on stage as we bring Mal, Ben...


  • 80s Charity Bunco

    02/25/2017
    06:30PM — 10:00PM

    Please join us for a fun night of rolling dice for a great cause. This year’s theme is “I love t...


  • Spoon River

    02/25/2017
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    The Oswegoland Park District’s Limelight Theater Company proudly presents Spoon River, February 2...


  • Fabyan Villa Museum & Japanese Garden open

    02/26/2017
    01:00PM — 04:30PM

    The Fabyan Villa Museum and Japanese Garden will return to a public hours schedule starting on Su...


  • The Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva (UUSG) presents a history on the life of its founder...


  • Coffee with Kifowit

    02/27/2017
    08:30AM — 09:30AM

    If you would like to enjoy a cup of coffee and have an informal chat about the issues important t...


  • Winter Reading

    02/27/2017
    09:00AM — 09:00PM

    For adults and children of all ages! Make your way to the library for Winter Reading Fun. Read, l...


  • Games for Grownups

    02/27/2017
    06:30PM — 08:30PM

    Welcome to the new world of board games! Join us as we enjoy snacks, and play such games as Ticke...


  • Medicare Discussions

    02/28/2017
    10:00AM — 11:00AM

    This month at the Oswego Senior Center we will discuss original Medicare Supplement Plan options ...


  • Morning Coffee Break and a Book

    02/28/2017
    10:30AM — 11:30AM

    This month's selection is The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Moshin Hamid. Get your copy at the Chec...


  • Mardi Gras Dinner

    02/28/2017
    04:00PM — 08:00PM

    Enjoy our unique twists on classics such as poutine, gumbo, jambalaya, muffaletta, and more. À l...


  • Fox Valley Writer's Group

    02/28/2017
    07:00PM — 08:30PM

    The Fox Valley Writers group is dedicated to the idea of helping writers of all skill levels conn...


  • Fabyan Villa Museum & Japanese Garden open

    03/01/2017
    01:00PM — 04:30PM

    The Fabyan Villa Museum and Japanese Garden will return to a public hours schedule starting on Su...


  • Jumpstart

    03/01/2017
    03:00PM — 05:00PM

    Know what you want and where you're going? Just need a little help in getting there? JUMPSTART ...


  • Fabyan Villa Museum & Japanese Garden open

    03/02/2017
    01:00PM — 04:30PM

    The Fabyan Villa Museum and Japanese Garden will return to a public hours schedule starting on Su...


  • The Holmstad Helping Hearts

    03/02/2017
    01:30PM — 02:30PM

    The Holmstad Helping Hearts, a free support group for caregivers of loved ones with dementia, is ...


  • Evening Book Discussion Group

    03/02/2017
    07:00PM — 08:30PM

    This month's selection is "H is for Hawk" by Helen MacDonald. Copies will be available at Februar...


  • Sign Language Class

    03/03/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    Do you have trouble hearing? Always saying, “What did you say?” Get support and learn a new way...


  • Ever notice how little children, adolescents, and adults often choose and behave differently when...


  • Fabyan Villa Museum & Japanese Garden open

    03/05/2017
    01:00PM — 04:30PM

    The Fabyan Villa Museum and Japanese Garden will return to a public hours schedule starting on Su...


  • Pivot Points

    03/06/2017
    04:30PM — 05:30PM

    A pivot can refer to many things - traditionally, the point of rotation in a lever system, the c...


  • Fabyan Villa Museum & Japanese Garden open

    03/08/2017
    01:00PM — 04:30PM

    The Fabyan Villa Museum and Japanese Garden will return to a public hours schedule starting on Su...


  • Oswego 7th Grader, Meredith W. is shaving her head to raise funds for St. Baldrick's for lifesavi...


  • Fabyan Villa Museum & Japanese Garden open

    03/09/2017
    01:00PM — 04:30PM

    The Fabyan Villa Museum and Japanese Garden will return to a public hours schedule starting on Su...


  • Sign Language Class

    03/10/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    Do you have trouble hearing? Always saying, “What did you say?” Get support and learn a new way...


  • Western Ave School PTO will hold its spring and summer clothing and toy sale on Friday, March 10 ...


  • Find a Cure for Cancer Scavenger Hunt

    03/10/2017
    06:30PM — 11:00PM

    5th annual Find a Cure for Cancer Scavenger Hunt will take place on March 10th, 2017 in downtown ...


  • Western Ave School PTO will hold its spring and summer clothing and toy sale on Friday, March 10 ...


  • Women's Conference 2017

    03/11/2017
    08:30AM — 02:30PM

    Join us for a special day of spiritual growth and refreshment! Tend to your soul through worship ...


  • Green Night Out at the Movies

    03/11/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Join us in Batavia City Hall Council Chambers with your friends and family for Batavia’s 9th annu...


  • Fabyan Villa Museum & Japanese Garden open

    03/12/2017
    01:00PM — 04:30PM

    The Fabyan Villa Museum and Japanese Garden will return to a public hours schedule starting on Su...


  • Pivot Points

    03/13/2017
    09:30AM — 10:30AM

    A pivot can refer to many things - traditionally, the point of rotation in a lever system, the c...


  • Matter of Balance

    03/13/2017
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    Many older adults experience concerns about falling and restrict their activities. A Matter of Ba...


  • Kiwanis Club of Batavia

    03/14/2017
    12:00PM — 01:00PM

    Every second Tuesday, the Kiwanis Club meets for lunch at Andre's Restaurant on Webster and Rd 25...


  • Fox Valley Writer's Group

    03/14/2017
    07:00PM — 08:30PM

    The Fox Valley Writers group is dedicated to the idea of helping writers of all skill levels conn...


  • Fabyan Villa Museum & Japanese Garden open

    03/15/2017
    01:00PM — 04:30PM

    The Fabyan Villa Museum and Japanese Garden will return to a public hours schedule starting on Su...


  • Jumpstart

    03/15/2017
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    Know what you want and where you're going? Just need a little help in getting there? JUMPSTART ...


  • Kiwanis Club Meeting

    03/15/2017
    06:30PM — 07:30PM

    Every third Wednesday, the Kiwanis Club meets for a casual dinner at Pal Joey's Restaurant on Riv...


  • Fabyan Villa Museum & Japanese Garden open

    03/16/2017
    01:00PM — 04:30PM

    The Fabyan Villa Museum and Japanese Garden will return to a public hours schedule starting on Su...


  • Matter of Balance

    03/16/2017
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    Many older adults experience concerns about falling and restrict their activities. A Matter of Ba...


  • Elderday Center Caregiver Support Group Meeting

    03/16/2017
    01:30PM — 03:00PM

    Elderday Center offers a monthly caregiver support group, facilitated by Mollie Blum, MSW, Direct...


  • Oswego 7th Grader, Meredith W. is shaving her head to raise funds for St. Baldrick's for lifesavi...


  • SPACE!

    03/16/2017
    07:00PM — 08:30PM

    The Oswegoland Park District’s Limelight Theater Company proudly presents an evening of out-of-th...


  • Sign Language Class

    03/17/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    Do you have trouble hearing? Always saying, “What did you say?” Get support and learn a new way...


  • SPACE!

    03/17/2017
    07:00PM — 08:30PM

    The Oswegoland Park District’s Limelight Theater Company proudly presents an evening of out-of-th...


  • Moms & More of Oswego is having its Spring Children’s Clothing & Toy Resale on Saturday, March 18...


  • Oswego Senior Center Spring Craft Fair

    03/18/2017
    09:00AM — 02:00PM

    The Oswego Senior Center is hosting a craft fair featuring up to 90 crafters & artisans at 156 E....


  • Low Back Pain and Sciatica Workshop

    03/18/2017
    10:00AM — 11:00AM

    Back pain and sciatica can completely ruin your life... I’ve seen it many times... • Do you lea...


  • The Crooked House

    03/18/2017
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    The Oswegoland Park District’s Limelight Theater Company presents a radio play adaptation of The ...


  • LIVE MUSIC, GIVING BACK, and MAKING A DIFFERENCE The 2017 Spring Fling, sponsored by the Batav...


  • Fabyan Villa Museum & Japanese Garden open

    03/19/2017
    01:00PM — 04:30PM

    The Fabyan Villa Museum and Japanese Garden will return to a public hours schedule starting on Su...


  • Matter of Balance

    03/20/2017
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    Many older adults experience concerns about falling and restrict their activities. A Matter of Ba...


  • Pivot Points

    03/20/2017
    04:30PM — 05:30PM

    A pivot can refer to many things - traditionally, the point of rotation in a lever system, the c...


  • Fabyan Villa Museum & Japanese Garden open

    03/22/2017
    01:00PM — 04:30PM

    The Fabyan Villa Museum and Japanese Garden will return to a public hours schedule starting on Su...


  • Moms Connected

    03/23/2017
    09:15AM — 11:15AM

    Join us as Jeff Frazier presents Preparing Your Teen to Keep the Faith. Most of us have heard th...


  • Fabyan Villa Museum & Japanese Garden open

    03/23/2017
    01:00PM — 04:30PM

    The Fabyan Villa Museum and Japanese Garden will return to a public hours schedule starting on Su...


  • Matter of Balance

    03/23/2017
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    Many older adults experience concerns about falling and restrict their activities. A Matter of Ba...


  • Sign Language Class

    03/24/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    Do you have trouble hearing? Always saying, “What did you say?” Get support and learn a new way...


  • 2017 Huntley Brown Annual Spring Concert

    03/25/2017
    06:00PM — 08:30PM

    International Pianist Huntley Brown and his 30-piece Orchestra perform live with Covenant Christi...


  • Fabyan Villa Museum & Japanese Garden open

    03/26/2017
    01:00PM — 04:30PM

    The Fabyan Villa Museum and Japanese Garden will return to a public hours schedule starting on Su...


  • Pivot Points

    03/27/2017
    09:30AM — 10:30AM

    A pivot can refer to many things - traditionally, the point of rotation in a lever system, the c...


  • Matter of Balance

    03/27/2017
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    Many older adults experience concerns about falling and restrict their activities. A Matter of Ba...


  • Fox Valley Writer's Group

    03/28/2017
    07:00PM — 08:30PM

    The Fox Valley Writers group is dedicated to the idea of helping writers of all skill levels conn...