These past few days I have been reminded just how magnificent the people of Sunderland truly are. Earlier this week, Roker Report launched a fundraising effort in the hopes of securing £2,000 to be split between the Sunderland Foodbank and the Sunderland Community Soup Kitchen.
However, as I pen this article, we’ve managed to raise over £7,200 between our GoFundMe page and a private donation from the Watmore family. Honestly, it’s just incredible.
The wonderful Sunderland community have once more banded together in a show of real solidarity and have taken care of their own. Thousands of pounds will now make their way to two very deserving charities. People’s lives will be made better. This might be the little moment that helps someone get back on their feet - all thanks to your generosity.
It’s exciting, humbling, joyous, emotional, and a thousand other emotions combined. But ultimately, it’s a simply wonderful gesture.
People often say it, but Sunderland fans truly are some of the most incredible people in the country.
In an area deprived of so much, Sunderland fans have consistently shown their brilliance.
In a region where children are 10% more likely to be living in low-income houses, where fuel poverty is above the national average, where aggregate household wealth is the lowest in Britain, people still find thousands of pounds to help those in need.
You could go on with the harrowing facts, but despite this awful reality, the people of our club and our city have shown a great generosity to help their own.
These are also the same people who flock to the Stadium of Light week after week despite the club currently sitting in its lowest ever league position. The same people who travel the length and breadth of the country to support their team. The same people who stick by the club through thick and thin when many others would have fled.
How can anyone fail to be inspired by this?
If I was a Sunderland player, and I heard of the brilliant efforts of the Sunderland community to help those struggling this Christmas, I’d be ready to run through a wall for the people in the stands.
Yes we’re demanding, yes we’re vocal when we’re unhappy, but it’s because we’re a loyal, proud people who are completely invested in this community. For many, Sunderland AFC is far more than a football club, it’s an institute of our city, it’s a symbol of our togetherness despite the troubles that have faced this city and this region over the past decades.
We’re not victims, though, and the amazing charitable actions of our fans has shown that. If we’re inspired by something, we act; if we’re able to help, we will. From one pound to one-thousand, fans have banded together to support our own, just like we’ve done hundreds of times before.
There’s still time to do your bit and be a part of something amazing this Christmas. Please, help in any way you can.