CINCINNATI – The FC Cincinnati Foundation is leading FC Cincinnati’s efforts to unite those in need, Major League Soccer’s weekly theme for its ongoing #MLSUnites platform.
Among the activities supporting this week’s #MLSUnites theme include players assisting with the Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio’s distribution of essential goods, a video call with members of the West End Pride, the launch of a new reading initiative with the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati, as well as the continuation of monetary donations to support student meal needs in the West End during the current school closures.
“One of FC Cincinnati’s club pillars is being visible in the community and we’re thrilled to have an institution as active as the FC Cincinnati Foundation to lead us in this area,” FC Cincinnati president Jeff Berding said. “The Foundation does an extraordinary amount of work all year long. Having this opportunity to highlight not only the phenomenal work they do, but also showcase the giving and community-minded nature of our players, this week is outstanding.”
West End Student Meal Support
Today, the Foundation announced that donations in excess of $10,000 by club fans, partners, FCC staff and players Siem de Jong, Bobby Edwards, Tommy McCabe and Nick Hagglund have been collected to support West End neighborhood families during the COVID-19 crisis. The donations will help fund student meal initiatives at Cincinnati College Preparatory Academy, Hayes Porter, and the St. Joseph School, all of which are located in the West End.
Donations will continue to be collected at FC Cincinnati’s donation page for the duration of the school closures, and those donating to the school meal program should check the box indicating that wish at the top of the page. The Ohio-mandated school closures began on March 16 and will continue through at least May 1.
Council on Aging Essential Needs Distribution
FC Cincinnati players Nick Hagglund, Kekuta Manneh, Haris Medunjanin and Tommy McCabe volunteered with the Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio to deliver essential items around the area to senior citizens who are unable to leave their homes. PHOTO GALLERY
The Council on Aging is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for older adults and people with disabilities, as well as their families and caregivers. More information about the organization is available at help4seniors.org. Information about their COVID-19 response – including donation and volunteer opportunities - is also available.
West End Pride Video Call with FCC Players
On Thursday afternoon, Hagglund and Edwards will join a video call with members of the West End Pride, the club’s SAY Soccer team based in the West End neighborhood of Cincinnati.
With the spring season on hold because of COVID-19 state stay-at-home orders, the youth players who otherwise would be practicing and playing soccer with their friends have not yet had the opportunity to gather together. The team’s spring season is traditionally its largest, with more than 130 neighborhood children participating in 2019.
The video call will be an opportunity for not only the players to “see” each other during the state-mandated school closures, but also provide an outlet for them to ask questions of professional players. The players’ families and coaches will also be part of the discussion.
The FC Cincinnati Foundation funds and provides oversight of the West End Pride program, which is free for participants. Along with learning the game and playing against peers in other communities, participants received a full uniform, shin guards and cleats.
YMCA “Story Time with a Soccer Star” Kick Off
On Friday, FC Cincinnati and the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati will launch “Story Time with a Soccer Star,” a new ongoing series that will see FC Cincinnati players read a book while it is streamed on Facebook Live.
At 12 p.m. on Friday, April 24, Greg Garza will kick off the initiative with a special Spanish-language reading of “El Coleccionista de Palabras” (The Word Collector) by Peter H. Reynolds.
West End Non-Perishables Collection
In partnership with the Seven Hills Neighborhood House in the West End, FC Cincinnati is also soliciting community support for non-perishable food item donations.
The Seven Hills Neighborhood House has a central pantry and bread room, which supplies critical food supplies to those in need in the neighborhood. Additionally, the organization also delivers to those in the neighborhood who are less mobile.
Donations are accepted Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Seven Hills Neighborhood House is located at 901 Findlay St., Cincinnati, OH 45214.
ABOUT THE FC CINCINNATI FOUNDATION
The FC Cincinnati Foundation was formed in December 2018 and aims to improve the lives of children in the Greater Cincinnati area through the game of soccer. The Foundation’s mission is accomplished primarily throughfour key programs: in-school and after-school soccer programming, mini pitch builds, the West End Pride youth soccer team and Learning Is Cool. These programs help promote and encourage strong academic performance, and serve as catalysts to reinforce character values and improved health. The Foundation also serves as FC Cincinnati’s philanthropic arm, making donations and investments to Cincinnati-area organizations that have similar goals and ambitions for the area’s youth. In 2019, the Foundation’s first year supporting the philanthropy of the club in MLS, the FCCF had a $1 Million impact on the Greater Cincinnati community. Fans can follow along with the FC Cincinnati Foundation’s community work through its social media channels: @FCC_Foundation on Twitter,/FCCincyFoundation on Facebook and @FCCFoundation on Instagram.