The Aberdeen FC Community Trust (AFCCT) has received a $30,000 donation from billionaire Atlanta United owner Arthur Blank’s foundation.
Atlanta and the Dons announced a strategic partnership last year and the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation has made the philanthropic contribution after being impressed by Aberdeen’s #StillStandingFree campaign, which has been helping vulnerable supporters during the coronavirus lockdown.
“It has been wonderful to see how Aberdeen FC and the AFC Community Trust have supported and galvanized the Aberdeen community in these difficult times,” said Atlanta United president Darren Eales.
“Giving back is one of Atlanta United’s founding pillars, and a core value we share with our partner club. We are delighted to support AFC Community Trust in their great works, and to be able to show our solidarity now more than ever.”
The donation is part of the Atlanta United “United We Conquer” initiative and brings the AFCCT fundraising total during the Covid-19 outbreak to £140,000. The Trust has so far helped 2,318 people with food deliveries and 6,000 with welfare phonecalls.
AFCCT chief executive Liz Bowie said: “Many of our initiatives and avenues for raising funds were effectively cut‐off immediately following the suspension of football and the lock‐down. However, the generosity of AFC fans and others in the community has given us a vital lifeline and, in turn, allowed us to support the most vulnerable in our communities through our outreach programme and our food package deliveries.
“This money from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation is being ring‐fenced for our work in helping to educate and support young people deal with their mental health. By collaborating with Grassroots Soccer, we have developed the MINDSET programme which has already been trialled in two schools in the city and shire.
“The impact of this programme has been significant. We all know that mental health is going to become even more of an issue as the lock‐down continues and then when we emerge from it. We will be ready to respond due to this generosity.”