Across the country, we’ve all watched the heartbreaking images of Hurricane Harvey wreaking havoc on South Texas and Louisiana with devastating force. We’ve also witnessed the bravery of our nation’s first responders and the harrowing pictures of everyday citizens coming to the rescue of complete strangers in the community. As this crisis continues to unfold and impact the lives of soccer families along the Gulf Coast, our thoughts are with the millions of people who are affected by this disaster, which has been unprecedented in scale and scope.
We at US Youth Soccer are committed to helping our members, which include soccer players and their families all across the states affected by Hurricane Harvey, to get back into a normal daily life that includes playing soccer again. Many employees of our great organization have texted, phoned or emailed their sincerest empathy for the victims of this catastrophe, and expressed a strong desire to help out financially, as well. To harness the generosity of the US Youth Soccer family of employees (National office staff, Regional staff, State Association staff, etc.) nationwide, I have established a US Youth Soccer Hurricane Relief Fund dedicated specifically for employee giving. The account can be accessed by clicking on the following link: https://www.gofundme.com/usys-soccer-relief-fund.
Any employee, board member or volunteer within the US Youth Soccer family who wishes to give now has an easy and convenient way to do so. In addition, all contributions to the US Youth Soccer Hurricane Relief fund will be matched dollar for dollar by the national office of US Youth Soccer. One hundred percent of the funds will go directly to the State Associations impacted by Hurricane Harvey to support the membership relief/rebuilding efforts in their state. As national and State Association employees continue to donate in the days and weeks ahead, US Youth Soccer will continue to scale our impact of their giving by matching these donations. I have directed our marketing and communications team to socialize this fundraising initiative on all US Youth Soccer digital, social and communications channels. Obviously, this fundraising effort is strictly voluntary. No employee is ever required to contribute. Those wishing to instead donate to other relief organizations, such as the American Red Cross, are still free to do so.
In addition to the above efforts, my team has also reached out to our friends and colleagues at South Texas Youth Soccer Association and Louisiana Soccer Association to understand what specific needs they might have during this difficult time.
STYSA has set up a YouCaring account to help raise funds for their soccer clubs who have been devastated by the hurricane and subsequent flooding. Anyone wishing to make a financial donation may do so at www.youcaring.com/stysa. Funds raised will go directly toward helping local STYSA members and allow the soccer community of South Texas to start the process of rebuilding and getting players back on the field to enjoy the sport they love.
If any US Youth Soccer State Association members would like to donate soccer equipment, gear or apparel, they may contact Jennifer Davis at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Jennifer will connect interested donors to clubs, teams and players who have the most need. As you can imagine, damage assessments are still being calculated, and we will have a better idea of the greatest needs starting next week.
As soon as we receive information from Louisiana Soccer Association, in terms of how you can help support their rebuilding efforts, we will immediately pass it along.
Once again, the focus of US Youth Soccer is on helping our members and their soccer clubs and families in need during this difficult time. I will continue to monitor the situation closely in South Texas, Louisiana and any other states in Harvey’s path. As the needs become clearer in the days and weeks ahead, we stand ready do our part to help soccer communities across the region recover and rebuild their lives.
I appreciate everyone’s support in achieving this goal and helping our soccer friends in need!
US Youth Soccer CEO