ST. PAUL, Minn. — futsal. Football’s little brother and the way many grew up playing.

Every week this summer at Johnson High School in East St. Paul, futsal is life.

“What we try to teach is to make better people. Not everyone is going to play pro, play college, even some aren’t going to play high school, but we can always give back to our community. and be great,” said SOL of Cities co-founder Mario Wimberly.

Eight high school boys and four girls teams compete in the league each week. College teams and dozens of young children also play. But after the matches, it’s something different.

“The effort you put in is enough. So it’s not about the money here, it’s about what you do with your time,” Sparkle Wimberly, another co-founder, told a group of gamers from futsal reunited after a match.

Time spent serving the community. Service instead of payment. SOL of the Cities is completely free. On opening day Saturday, give back by writing letters to seniors.

“To anyone, whether you’re a stranger, to feel loved or just to enjoy life every day. Live it like it’s your last. I feel like everyone should hear these words , not just from loved ones, but from random strangers,” said Lenia Lopez, who plays for the Como Park team.

Sol of the Cities offers everything you get in a paid league.

“By serving them to us, they are able to move forward and serve others,” Sparkle Wimberly said.

All this, using the game of the world.

“A lot of the teams we serve are from the cities. But we also have teams from Holy Angels and Prior Lake,” said co-founder Kyle Johnson. “Connecting all communities is important. And the ability to do that through this game is really what makes it so beautiful.

Next week’s community outreach effort, collecting swimsuits for kids taking free swimming lessons in St. Paul.