SEATTLE, Washington — The economic hardship that came with COVID-19 also inspired generosity across the globe. Among the celebrities that have brought forth efforts to fight the global pandemic, are athletes that have banded together to play their part in the global COVID-19 response.
Athletes Lend a Helping Hand
Among the efforts made by athletes to address the global pandemic is the launch of AthletesRelief.org. Some of the world’s most famous and talented athletes, including Simone Biles, Stephen Curry, Michael Phelps, Tony Hawk, David Ortiz and Shaun White, partnered with the Center for Disaster Philanthropy to create the site as a global fundraising tool. They auctioned off autographed items with 100% of proceeds being donated to the COVID-19 Response Fund and raised over $250,000 for the cause.
Social media was credited for making this fundraiser such a large success, as fans and athletes shared photos of the merchandise being auctioned off, garnering attention and support for the cause. Large figures in the sports world also participated even though they could not put up athletic gear for auction. Mark Cuban offered signed $1 bills and Field Yates donated 30-minute consultation sessions for football advice.
These athletes fighting COVID-19 on a global scale made an impact by funneling the $250,000 in proceeds made on their signed jerseys, leotards, balls and more, to where it was needed most. This included funding for food security, needed supplies, clinics and frontline workers in vulnerable communities across the globe.
College Athletes Get in on the Action
In addition to high profile professional athletes, college athletes have also joined in donating their time and energy to addressing the global pandemic. The Grace College men’s soccer team hails from 12 different countries and after teammate Ivan Santagiuliana’s grandparents died from complications due to COVID-19, the team started fundraising for COVID-19 relief through their own global marathon. The run, which was only planned to last two days, was extended to a whole week after the outpouring of support and funds they amassed.
Apart from the athletes and athletic organizations aiding in the global COVID-19 response, sports apparel company, Under Armour, has stepped up to aid families and children affected by the pandemic. The company donated $1 million in cash to a food-relief program. Under Armour also donated footwear and clothing to help relieve the financial burdens that people are experiencing because of the COVID-19 shut-downs.
These are all important gestures, engendering support and encouraging other athletes, celebrities and sports organizations to do their part in supporting those most vulnerable to the effects of the pandemic. Following the lead of athletes fighting COVID-19, the Dallas Cowboys announced that their draft will be utilized to raise funds for the Salvation Army’s global COVID-19 response. Their defensive line has also offered rewards like shoutouts to fans who donate to businesses suffering from the loss of business that COVID-19 brought forth.
COVID-19 will have long-term consequences for countries and people all over the world. However, within this gloomy picture, there is reason to be hopeful. The recent outpouring of generosity during COVID-19 inspires hope for a united front in uplifting communities globally and tackling the pandemic on a large scale.
– Eleanor Williams