David’s Story

David Thanoon is one of Amaanah’s longest serving volunteers.

David’s involvement with Amaanah dates back to 2008 when he volunteered at Rock the Block, a regular Amaanah event that delivered household necessities to the local refugee community. Inspired by his experience, he found himself a constant presence at subsequent events.

“I found myself at every succeeding event,” he says.

“Eventually weaving myself into the fabric of Amaanah’s core team.”

In 2012 Amaanah’s leadership invited David to create a soccer program for the refugee children.

‘As a passionate devotee of the game, I jumped at the opportunity,” David says. “To not only channel my energy into something so valuable, but also to challenge my understanding of the sport from a new angle.”

The initial plan was to tap into the local schools and offer to orient their refugee students into the program. After struggling to get the support, the team went directly to the community. Word soon spread and the coaches began running practices and games, leaning on the support of local volunteers.

After a number of years, and different iterations, the program would eventually grow into the hugely successful Amaanah Lions, now one of Amaanah’s core programs.

“A great duo of new roles formed: Amine Amrouni transitioned to Head Coach and Richard Spragg became the Program Manager. The team joined the HFA league, and it was this competitive element that really grew the program.”

With the football program thriving, David began to focus on developing individual players through mentorship, using his experience in the engineering field to create opportunities for several players in the program, some of whom are now working for leading energy industry companies.

In 2016, the Houston Dynamo selected David as their Community MVP, in recognition of everything he had accomplished through the football program.

These days you’ll find David still coaching and playing with the team, and still at every Amaanah event, dressed from head to toe in Lions gear, helping his young daughters understand the value of this kind of service.

“I am beyond grateful to have had Amaanah be an integral part of my life for over fourteen years now. I am proud of the commitment and dedication that has been poured into it – the love, blood, sweat and tears that have nurtured it to grow and become one of Houston’s most effective non-profit organizations.”

  • “I jumped at the opportunity to not only channel my energy into something so valuable, but also to challenge my understanding of the sport from a new angle. David Thanoon

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