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The philanthropic side of Manchester United

As fans of the game, especially the diehards, we invest a lot of emotional effort into our clubs. I can only speak for myself, but every loss is nearly assured to ruin that day for me. We take time out of our days to watch matches, spend our money on kits, tickets, and scarves, we deserve something in return, right? The short answer is no, we don’t. I’m no saint myself so I’ll be the first to admit how easy it can be, especially during the transfer window, to be consumed by all the ways the club should repay our loyalty. We nearly obsess with how and where these unfathomably large amounts of money are spent. We’re more concerned with any single individual or organization than how, even just a fraction of, that money could be used for good.

How often do we think of how the club helps the ones that actually need it? The kids who wear a half-torn Rooney jersey while playing barefoot in the dirt, or the ones watching every match from their hospital bed? So, to break up the usual fodder of transfer gossip and speculations, I want to highlight some of the charitable ways that The Manchester United Foundation helps the ones that deserve it most around the world.

Dream Days

At least twice out of the season, the Manchester United Foundation sets up Dream Days that gives fans with life-limiting illnesses the opportunity to spend time with their favorite players. The players visit local hospitals, and if able, the fans and their family come watch a training session, have a tour of Old Trafford and a lunch with the squad.

“It’s great for the kids to see the players and for us to also see them as they are our fans; we’ve hopefully put a smile on their faces today.” – Wayne Rooney

Find a Better Way

In 2011, Sir Bobby Charlton took a visit to Cambodia. While there, he was able to see the effects that landmines and other explosive remnants of war can have on a community. Find a Better Way is an effort that was put in place to help alleviate the struggles, provide resources and aid to areas trying to recover from a war-stricken past. Some of the work that they do is focused on developing technology for mine inspection (see more here).  You can donate to Find a Better Way cause here.

#UnitedandMe

This is one of the ways that Manchester United engages with the community while incorporating social media. They put out the word and asked for submissions on how Manchester United has changed fans’ lives. The Foundation then reached out to certain individuals that the foundation has helped at some point to tell their story – some of which are truly inspiring, like…

Partner Schools

Currently, The Manchester United Foundation has established a partnership with 17 academies in the heart of the community. The goal of it being to allow the youth to realise their potential on and off the pitch. Community Development Officers work full-time to construct new ways and initiatives to get involved on an academic and athletic level.

Written by Devin Healy

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