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Just Like Lupo

There are two types of kids at Street2Street: the one who can’t wait to be old enough to join the program and the one who can’t wait to be old enough to volunteer for the program.

 

And then there’s Frazier.

 

Frazier was just old enough to join Street2Street Paterson in 2012 when it started. He came out with a big smile and an even bigger heart that won over all the coaches. A kid that’s known hunger, known homelessness, known despair, but never known a father figure, he made his home at Street2Street.

 

His second year he was coached by none other than the great Tony Lupo.

 

Coach Lupo moved mountains for Fray. When he was down on his luck, or just straight out of luck, Lupo always found a way. He was the guy of second chances. And third…and fourth. When Fray got a job and lost it, Lupo always helped him find another one.

What Street2Street did wasn’t lost on Fray. All the long nights, countless hours, giving everything to make sure he didn’t give up. He understood how much the Street2Street coaches gave him and he took it to heart. For all they did for him, he wanted to give back. To the next generation of players. To his community.

 

Which is why when he graduated from the program, the first thing he did was sign up to be a volunteer. He wore the Coach’s shirt just like Lupo. He gave pep talks and ran the scoreboard. He cleaned up the bleachers. He showed up just like Lupo.

 

And when he found out Coach André and Coach Tee were volunteering with Star of Hope to package Boxes of Love for the community during this pandemic, he showed up too.

 

Fray doesn’t have much and money is especially tight right now. While his mom tries to make ends meet, it doesn’t always add up. But if Fray learned one thing from Coach Lupo, it’s that he can always give his time. And so he does.

 

In fact, the very moment Tony Lupo passed away, Frazier was giving back to his community.

 

“Coach Lupo was the first person to ever believe in me,” Fray said, tears in his eyes. “I am the man I am today because of Tony Lupo.”

Until they all Play, Belong, and Matter.

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