Soccer players raise money for families battling homelessness

All photos courtesy of www.mckeephotoarts.com
All photos courtesy of www.mckeephotoarts.com

Members of NESCAC men's and women's soccer teams, including Hamilton College, recently participated in a fundraiser that benefited the leading national nonprofit addressing the crisis of family homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Family Promise release

EA, the company behind many of today's most popular video games, inspired the NESCAC campaign with its "Stay Home, Play Together" initiative that supports coronavirus relief efforts and enables players to take part in livestream video games. The conference's soccer teams raised more than $12,000 for families experiencing homelessness.

"Being on a team has taught me the importance of working together to accomplish goals," Hamilton men's soccer midfielder Jeff Plump '20 said. "I know how fortunate I am to not worry about food insecurity or a place to live. Being able to give back is even more critical at this time because of the pandemic and additional hardships that have ensued."

Players from Tufts University reached out to other NESCAC schools about an Xbox contest to benefit Family Promise. Each school's soccer team selected three players to compete in the FIFA20 tournament, which ran from May 1 to May 17.

"I was happy to be a part of something to give back during a time of need for so many," goalkeeper Thomas Benson '22 said. "This is something that has been an integral part of the Hamilton soccer team in my two years. I hope the event was able to benefit those in need and raise awareness for those communities most impacted by this pandemic."

Family Promise serves families who are battling homelessness by keeping them together, helping them find stable housing and providing them with the skills and tools to achieve lasting independence. Due to the world pandemic, low-income families need support now more than ever, as they're some of the hardest hit by the crisis through the loss of wages, childcare, housing and more.

"I'm really glad all of the NESCAC teams were able to come together to contribute to Family Promise and support low-income families during this difficult time," midfielder Matt Jordan '22 said. "It was also great to participate in something as a team again after being off campus for a few months. While we're hopeful we'll all be on the field playing for real in the fall, connecting over FIFA made it feel like I was competing with my teammates and representing Hamilton again."