Manchester United Foundation approached all 247 Supporters’ Clubs across the UK and overseas to take part in a fundraising initiative, through which they would be offered up to £1,000 to help youth-focused charities in their area to be used in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
The nominated charity of each Supporters’ Club would be offered an initial £500 donation by the Foundation, to be topped up with a further sum of up to £500 to match local fundraising efforts by each club.
So far, 216 Supporters’ Clubs have signed up to the United for the Children campaign. Fans from across the world have taken part in organised runs, bike rides and virtual quizzes to raise funds.
Branches have currently raised over £41,000, with the Lancaster branch raising over £5,000 and Norway over £7,000 for their chosen charities. The Foundation will be donating over £123,766 to the charities, to include the initial £500 donations plus any matched funding.
The United for the Children campaign will be showcased across Manchester United and Foundation online channels from Wednesday 16th September and includes a dedicated page on the Foundation’s website to highlight some of the incredible stories shared by the clubs around the world. Supporters’ Clubs have spent the last few months sending images and videos, conducting interviews and sharing their experiences over the lockdown period.
One United USA Supporters’ Club have rallied round to watch matches via video calls and have thrown all their energies into supporting their chosen charity, America Scores.
America Scores inspires urban youth to lead healthy lives, be engaged students, and have the confidence and character to make a difference in the world.
Principle Reggie Higgins, a United fan from The Ralph Bunche School in New York, spoke passionately about how his pupils benefit from America Scores initiatives.
Higgins said: “America Scores really explained that it was more than just learning about soccer. It’s more philosophically aligned to what we believe kids need. How can we give kids choice in topics and ideas that are meaningful to them?
“For many American kids who grow up in economically underserved communities, they grow up with basketball players as role models. When they come into my office they won’t see LeBron James but they will see Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, because they are my heroes.”
Many of the supporters’ branches are raising money for children’s hospitals and hospices. The Manchester United Malta Supporters’ Club is the longest serving Supporters’ Club with 61 years of devoted service to the Red Devils.
Club chairman Joseph Tedseco and their members have chosen to support a charity that met the objectives of benefitting young people and their families in Malta.
Joseph explained: “As a Supporters’ Club we have chosen to support Puttinu Cares, which is a cancer support Foundation for children and their parents.
“It was founded specifically to help the parents of children who have unfortunately been diagnosed with cancer and need to be taken abroad for treatment.”
He continued: “I have been a part of the Supporters’ Club for over 23 years and I never remember an occasion like this. Where the football club has engaged the Supporters’ Clubs in such a big and ambitious initiative. I felt from communication with other branches abroad who have been part of the initiative that it has brought the club much closer to the fans.”
United for the Children adds to the ongoing response of Manchester United Foundation to the local community during Covid-19, including donations of funds and supplies to partner schools, working with the club to donate meals to the NHS, and support for food banks.
You can find out more about United for the Children and follow the worldwide stories from the Supporters’ Clubs at mufoundation.org/unitedforthechildren