Quiet Heroes of New Canaan: ‘Man with an Orange Shirt’


The “boys from Cross Street," L-R Adrian, David, and George. Photo courtesy of Yolanda Gjuraj

Yolanda Gjuraj said her son was the first to discover the full-size soccer goal left on a patch of grass out front of her family’s Cross Street home.

It was the morning of Sept. 11, and he’d just come home from a walkthrough football practice.

Several of the kids in the neighborhood play soccer on the residential street that runs between Cherry and Summer just off the eastern edge of downtown New Canaan, according to Gjuraj.

“Someone must’ve noticed the boys playing soccer as they always do and was kind enough to bring this goal to our home for the neighborhood kids to play,” she told NewCanaanite.com in an email.

“We were hoping that whoever brought it would’ve come by to let us know, but as of yet it still remains a mystery,” she said. “We asked our daughter if she saw someone drop it off as I was doing laundry during that time while my husband and son were at football, and our daughter described a ‘man with an orange shirt’ who apparently attached wheels to a bungee cord and wheeled it over. The kids are very appreciative.”

Gjuraj said the “boys from Cross Street” are deeply grateful to their anonymous donor and that the soccer goal is getting good use in the neighborhood.

“They are enjoying it,” she said.

[Editor’s Note: This is the latest installment of our “Quiet Heroes” series. We’re accepting nominations for it, see guidelines here.]

6 thoughts on “Quiet Heroes of New Canaan: ‘Man with an Orange Shirt’

  1. I LOVE this story! What a special person and generous act of kindness! Look at those smiles! Way to go “man in the orange shirt!”

  2. What a beautiful story! Hats off to the man in the “Orange Shirt” for thinking of these kids who wanted to play a decent soccer game .. just not on a busy street.
    Thank you for keeping them safe!
    Getting kids off the X-Box and outside into the yard is an A+ for sure!
    Enjoy it boys!!!

  3. You can see the future of New Cacaan Looks great with the spirit of these boys represents, it reminds me of my golden days when I grew up there.

  4. Hi Mike,

    I resisted replying to your story because I didn’t want to sound gush-y, but I can’t help it. I love that picture of the boys,

    I think the picture is timeless & a classic. You get a sense of each of their personalities. Kudos to the photographer & you for running it and the terrific accompanying story. That orange shirted gentleman was thoughtful in so many ways – including safety for the kids. Generous w/his time, effort & providing the net. The recipients were gracious & enthusiastic in their acceptance of the improvement. What a great example for the kids too. So good all around.

    I think there are many quiet thoughtful people in our environs & maybe your story/Quiet Heroes will encourage & inspire others to drop their reticence & quietly, anonymously, simply, lend a hand.

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