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#SoupKitchen21: The fundraiser across the pond is worth supporting!

Kev, the American Mackem, sets out why he and the North American Supporters Association (NASA) are so committed to helping the Soup Kitchen appeal from the other side of the Atlantic!

I have the absolute privilege of being a small part of the upcoming 24 hour Twitter Spaces live event to help promote fundraising for the Sunderland Community Soup Kitchen. Which may lead to the question, “Why does this matter to someone five time zones and an ocean away, who’s never actually been to Wearside?”

For me, the answer’s a simple one. When you support a team, whether you know it or not, you’re supporting a lot more than a club’s athletic achievement. Sport affects much more than a team, a coach, the owners, and even the players.

Communities can rise and fall based on the economic impact of the success or failure of a sporting club. So supporting Sunderland AFC means I want the best for more than just results on the pitch, I want the best for the community as a whole!

As a kid, I lived in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina here in the States. An ever-growing city with a great pro sports culture. Prior to 1988 however, Charlotte was a vastly rural city with its major economic impacts seen in the areas of agriculture and local banking. In 1988 the NBA brought a team to the city and by 1992 the team was beginning to be competitive which brought more national attention and media coverage to the area.

In 1995 the Carolina Panthers NFL team had its inaugural season. Since then the city has added second division ice hockey and baseball teams and 2022 will be the first season of the newly formed MLS franchise. The economic impact has been massive. Charlotte is now the 15th largest city in the US, with almost 25% growth from 2010.

The Sunderland Community Soup Kitchen is getting ready for Christmas. With the help of Sunderland fans around the world, we can keep this work going for another year.

Obviously, sport isn’t the only reason for economic growth, but it does play a part. Sporting success leads to greater tourism, which can help sustain and grow local businesses and shops. And economic growth in local communities allows for the opportunity for local, thriving businesses, shops, and individuals to join together to help the most vulnerable around them.

So, I’m thrilled to be a supporter of SAFC and a fan of the club as well as the local community. So that as the club succeeds, local shops and businesses succeed, and local outreach like the Sunderland Community Soup Kitchen have more hands helping out and supporting them. Supporting a club means wishing the best for athletic success and the communities in and around the club itself.

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