June 17, 2020
ISL Home FC Jersey To Aid Outreach Ministry During COVID-19
From the offset of forming ISL as a company the main focus has always been about community and giving back. Each of us that make up the team come from different walks of life and have at some point needed a hand up to move forward, in one way or another. It is with that sentiment and the current global climate of COVID-19 that we collectively agreed that there has to be a way to get involved and be able to put our efforts into pouring hope into the lives of those who are desperately in need during this time.
Recently we rolled out a “Same Team. Same Goal.” campaign in tandem with the global call for people to stay at home in hopes of combating this pandemic and flattening the curve. We received an overwhelming and positive response to the mocked up “Home Shirt” jerseys in the graphics we laid out for social media and an article written to support the campaign. The only logical thing to do at this point was to move the concept forward into production and ultimately do good with it.
Now, there are many companies that are vying to get involved and help out in aiding those in need, but for the most part those donations are being funneled into a centralized disbursement organization and the turn around to get them to those people who are now reliant upon receiving those distributions are being lost in the shuffle or having to hold on a bit longer until they are able to receive aid.
For us, immediate disbursement of aid was non-negotiable. People are going without and the goal for us is get them help as soon as possible. ISL is going on 7 years strong now, but we have done well at remaining true to our roots. The early days began in Charlotte, NC and although we now call many parts of the world home, the Queen City will always hold close in our hearts.
Soccer is the world’s game and if you are a part of it you will come to quickly understand that it is a very small and close knit community with many arms. Soccer serves many purposes outside of being a game to watch. It unifies cities and countries. It’s colorblind. It doesn’t know or care what your socioeconomic status is. But, above all it serves. Soccer and the players that we have come to cheer on have always poured resources back into one outreach or charity that they are fortunate to be partnered with. To us, we have always had the utmost respect for our friends at Project 658.
Project 658 believe in transforming communities and pouring hope into restoring each life they are able to engage with, regardless of race, sex or religion. These are values that we believe in and only hope to try to replicate in our daily lives. 658 are a holistic ministry providing services for at-risk families in Charlotte and Nashville, moving them toward sustainability; with a key focus on the international and refugee communities. This is a non-brainer for us, as many of our team are from different parts of the globe.
The beauty of this project was two fold, in that we had the opportunity to help those in need, but additionally it gave the folks at 658 the chance to put a few of their staff back to work, even if it were for a short period of time, as they have an onsite screen printing and distribution department. Given the climate of things right now being able to uncover a company to do this project and turn it around in a timely fashion could present itself as a bit of a challenge, so we were excited to learn that this was a capability of theirs.
Beyond being an outreach ministry, 658 have diversified their facility to be host a variety of different things such as wedding receptions, to continued education classes, vocational training classes, an after school daycare and tutoring, to a fully operational restaurant style kitchen to which they have the ability to cater events on the premises, as well as feed those in need. They even have the ability to convert the banquet space into a fully capable futsal court for local youth to play on.
Without the delay the concept of #HomeFC was born. The purpose behind the jersey was a simple call to stay home, save lives in the attempt to get this pandemic behind us and to get back out on the playing field. Additionally, it gave us the opportunity to be able to reach out to our network to help those who are most in need.
With all hands on deck we ran a limited time offer jersey sale for 7 days utilizing our ISL social media channels and an email marketing campaign. Orders from around the U.S. started coming in almost immediately, which for us validated even more the type of community we have come to know and love. As quickly as it began it was over. All in all we sold over 200 jerseys and raised over $5000.00 for Project 658 and a couple other organizations affiliated with our foundation.
This number may not seem like much, but for the lives of those in need during this time it truly made an impact, even if it were for a short period. To everyone that helped support this campaign, thank you. You may never meet the folks who you help support, but we can assure you that they are equally grateful to you too.
To learn more about our foundation and organizations that we work with follow this link.