Western United centre-back Leo Lacroix has been well travelled throughout his footballing career, speaking as many as six languages and coming across a number of different cultures.
Now in Australia for the first time, Lacroix has continued his excellence on the pitch with his early performances in Green and Black, but equally he is maintaining his commitment to charity and being an influence in the community.
Lacroix has joined United goalkeeper Ryan Scott and Calder United’s goalkeeper Alyssa Dall’Oste in forming the Food Relief Squad as an ambassador for Western United’s charity partner, Foodbank Victoria.
Ahead of the Club’s special Food Relief match against Western Sydney Wanderers in partnership with Foodbank, Lacroix spoke on the importance of making a difference in the community.
“For me, to help people is the base in life. Sometimes, just with a smile or with a conversation you can change one life – not only giving things but just with a discussion,” he said.
Growing up with a Brazilian mother, Lacroix spent a part of his life living in Brazil with his two sisters and has maintained his connection to the country.
Throughout his playing career and life off the pitch, Lacroix has worked with the pastor of his church in Sao Paulo to commit himself to supplying food and essentials to families in need throughout the country.
“The year when there was Covid for the first time, for Easter I told [my pastor] to go buy lots of easter eggs of chocolate and go distribute to the children where their life is not easy,” he said.
“And for the families, a bag of provisions. This work we have also carried out in the north of Brazil.”
Being in a new country hasn’t changed Lacroix’s attitude, either.
“I think personally it doesn’t matter where you are, if you can help people, just do it,” he said.
“Because with one gesture, one word or maybe just one hug you can change a life. So that’s why you make a difference.”
Lacroix has immediately felt himself at home in Melbourne, and after a handful of months he is looking forward to extending himself in the community.
As a Foodbank ambassador, he will help the Club to deliver vital support to those in need throughout the West, in a bid to continue the fight against hunger.
“Whether it’s with Foodbank or something else chosen for me by helping a person, it means a lot,” Lacroix said.
“I don’t really like to say or show what I’m doing because I think it’s personal, and the Bible says your left hand doesn’t know what your right hand is doing.”
While he doesn’t need or want any recognition, Lacroix has already become a key part of the Western United family, and alongside his fellow ambassadors his support of Foodbank Victoria will continue to make a difference to those in need in the communities in the West.