The Union announced Tuesday the start of a five-week charity initiative to deliver food and protective equipment to local health-care workers, and meals to Chester residents in need.
Run by the team’s charitable arm, the drive begins this week with the donation of 1,000 meals to local hospitals. Next week’s donation will be 3,000 team-branded face masks to health-care providers across the region. Future donations will send more protective equipment to hospitals and grocery stores. The meal drive in Chester is scheduled to start May 11.
“The Union continue to be inspired by the heroic men and women who are on the front lines of this pandemic and are fighting with them,” team president Tim McDermott said in a statement. “Now more than ever, it’s important to give back to the community that we love and call home."
Funding comes in part from a $55,000 donation made by the rum brand Captain Morgan, which sponsors the Union and MLS. The company is donating that sum to each of the nine MLS teams it has deals with, for a total of $500,000 leaguewide; and will donate up to $50,000 more through a social media initiative for fans.
The initiative asks fans to show off their nutmeg skills — kicking a ball between an opponent’s legs. But in this time of social isolation, you don’t have to nutmeg another human and you don’t have to use a ball. It could be a roll of toilet paper and a kitchen table.
Every such video posted to Instagram with Captain Morgan tagged will yield a $25 donation. (You have to be of legal drinking age to count.) The best submissions will be shared, with commentary from ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman.
Union fans can also buy T-shirts with the local initiative’s slogan, “Fight For Philly,” for $25 each through the Union Foundation’s website.
Previously, the Union announced a relief fund for stadium staff without game-day work, and lit up Subaru Park in blue as part of the region-wide display in support of local health-care workers.
MLS has suspended its season until at least June 8, and the ban on teams practicing remains in effect.