Our supporters groups are amazing.
From the beginning of the club, I’ve been overwhelmed by the fantastic support they’ve shown for a team that hadn’t played a professional match before March. The good they’ve done from a fan perspective is immeasurable. With the help of the SG’s in creating tailgates, tifos and atmosphere on gameday and beyond, Atlanta United’s previously non-existent fan base spontaneously combusted into one of the best in the league.
As excellent as our SG’s are come game time, their most impactful work happens out of the stands. Each group, big and small, gives back to the greatest city in the world through fundraising, item collection or volunteering.
In fact, our groups do so much I wanted to go ahead an apologize. I’m sure I’m missing some project/fundraiser/some volunteer effort that is entirely deserving of inclusion in this article. I tried to include everything I could. Y’all do a lot though. It’s freaking awesome.
I’ve included links to the website of each organization mentioned if you need more information or are interested in donating. Just click their name anytime it appears in red.
The nearly 1,500 members of The Faction have a single fundraising focus.
This year, The Faction has raised $10,390 from their pregame tailgates alone -- easily surpassing a preseason goal of $5,000 -- for The Fugees. Not The Fugees (although if you see them, please put some money in their instrument case, they’re probably hungry), but The Fugees.
The Fugees are the gosh darn coolest.
According to their website, “The Fugees Academy is the nation’s only school dedicated to refugee education. The school has received SAIS and SACS accreditation, blending creative teaching with academic fundamentals, interwoven with leadership and character building.
“Sports remains a key to the success of the children, and the organization’s programming includes year-round soccer for over 90 boys and girls aged 10-18, after-school tutoring, soccer for 50 elementary-aged students, and an academic enrichment summer camp.”
Faction co-founder Kevin Kinley says that with seven games remaining, the SG may push the $20,000 mark in fundraising for one of Atlanta’s coolest organizations.
The Faction raises money at every group event, so to help out with fundraising for The Fugees, run by any Faction tailgate or head to The Fugees website linked previously.
The Faction will also be raising money at the Madison Ave. Soap Box Derby on Oct. 7 or at the Oakhurst Porchfest on Oct. 14.
TL provides fantastic support for Soccer in the Streets, an Atlanta-based organization that, according to its site, “empowers underserved youth through soccer training, character development, mentoring, and employability programs” throughout the city.
The program named Terminus Legion its Supporters Group of the Year two of the last three years for their fundraising efforts. According to Terminus Legion President Austin Long, TL has raised over $1200 dollars this season for SITS, as well as $400 dollars for the organization’s ATL Nations Cup through raffles and merchandise sales. Over the last four years, TL raised nearly $5,000 for the Soccer in the Streets.
Black Harts works closely with Atlanta non-profit Mission Phoenix among other Atlanta-based charities.
Before the Sept. 10 game, Black Harts will be collecting travel sized toiletries for Mission Phoenix at their pregame tailgate.
Mission Phoenix is “a non-profit assembly aimed toward the assisting the homeless on a more personal basis and bringing awareness to each individual’s personal journey.”
Or, as Black Harts co-founder J.R. Francis put it, “100% of your donation goes to someone in need. We know that if you give a jacket, that jacket is going to end up on the back of someone who would be cold had we not donated it. That kind of direct action feels nice instead of it going into a store and having it be something some hipster buys because it looks like a 90’s member’s only jacket.”
20% of each Black Harts’ tailgate donation jar this season has gone to Mission Phoenix.
Additionally, Black Harts, along with Delta 17, are holding a Carnival Tailgate complete with carnival style game booths and prizes. The tailgate will take place before the Sept. 24 match against Montreal and will be located in the blue lot at MBS. All proceeds will head towards Bert’s Big Adventure, an Atlanta-based organization that caused me to actively and openly weep when I learned what it did. According to their website, the folks at Bert’s “provide a magical, all-expenses-paid, five-day journey to Walt Disney World® for children with chronic and terminal illnesses and their families.”
We have a special article taking a look at Delta 17’s fantastic effort to help the citizens of Venezuela coming soon. Stay tuned.
Resurgence focuses mostly on collection drives and community outreach work.
This year, Resurgence has collected items for New American Pathways and is currently wrapping an item drive for Pack for a Purpose.
Resurgence also makes bi-weekly efforts for its members to volunteer with Hands On Atlanta and MedShare among others.
The group says they attempt to become involved with a new Atlanta-based group each month.
The good folks at Footie Mob have been selling shirts to benefit the Creature Comforts’ Get Comfy Charity, the Athens brewery’s non-profit fundraising initiative.
Footie Mob has also been selling the best piece of Atlanta United merchandise this season that isn’t that incredible Miggy Stardust t-shirt. The group has been selling Atlanta United Pride scarves, with proceeds from the scarves set to be given to an as of yet undetermined LGBTQ organization.
Like I said, I’m sure I’m missing plenty of excellent and worthy projects. If you’d like to encourage folks to to become involved with a supporters group project I maybe missed or was unaware of, drop that info in the comments and explain what the program does and why it’s worthy of attention.
I was unfortunately unable to get in contact with the folks at La 12 de Atlanta. If there are any projects they have done or are currently undergoing, please let me know.