Rush Equipment Assisting Children (REACH)
Through the REACH Program (Rush Equipment Assisting Children), Rush supports disadvantaged youth in developing countries by partnering with Rush soccer clubs, schools, nonprofit organizations, and communities to provide soccer uniforms and gear. By linking equipment donation to on-the-ground programs that develop youth soccer skills and promote health and education, REACH is contributing to stronger, healthier communities in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
Since the launch of the REACH Program in 2002 Rush Soccer has distributed hundreds of thousands of pieces of soccer gear to more than 30 developing countries around the world. From tsunami victims and Russian orphans, to the children of war-torn Iraq or HIV-ravaged southern Africa, REACH has given thousands of kids a chance to enjoy the game.
How does REACH work?
Rush Soccer is the biggest soccer club in the world with over 37,000 registered players or “members”. High levels of membership have created a large supply of used soccer uniforms and equipment. Seeking to capitalize on the opportunity to redistribute these uniforms with needy communities around the globe, Rush Soccer has established a standard process for managing the program. The steps below describe a typical uniform collection process that would take place over a one-year period.
Partners and Volunteers
The success of the REACH Program has hinged on strong partnerships and the contributions of countless volunteers across the United States. Rush has worked closely with partners such as the US Navy’s Project Handclasp, ISTAT-AirLink, and FedEx to ensure that soccer gear is safely and cost-effectively shipped to locations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. As demand for gear continues to increase, we look forward to expanding our partnership base.
Essential to the program are REACH “Ambassadors”, Rush players who often volunteer hundreds of hours soliciting donations of gear and assisting with organizing and packing it for distribution overseas. Ambassador efforts are also supported by REACH Volunteer Coordinators who represent each of the Rush clubs around the US and play an active role in promoting and administering the program.
REACH Uniform Program
In June of 2010, the REACH program implemented its first coordinated and comprehensive used uniform collection program in an effort to greatly scale-up the number of uniforms distributed around the world.The Rush registers over 37,000 soccer players of which approximately 12,000 are in the “travel” program. That equates to roughly 6,000 competitive girl soccer players and 6,000 competitive boy soccer players. Because of our partnership with Nike and Eurosoport, “travel” soccer players are required to purchase new Kits (two jerseys, two shorts, and two socks) every two years. This happens every year with the girls purchasing new Kits on odd calendar years and the boys purchasing new Kits on even calendar years. When the uniform is ordered and distributed to the players, the player has the option to bring in his used uniform kit for a $20.00 credit**. We will collect approximately 4,500 used uniform kits. Over ten years, that table represents 45,000 uniforms distributed throughout the world! The impact both from a humanitarian side and marketing side is staggering. This does not include additional pieces of soccer equipment such as balls, shin guards, warm up jackets and pants, etc. estimated at 300,000 pieces. If handled properly, the 45,000 target could easily be tripled for a total of 135,000 uniforms distributed to children.
2013 02.26 - REACH has a new Home!
|REACH Delivery in Senegal|
We are always eager to receive donations of gently used gear. If you want to make a contribution, please abide by the following guidelines:
- Due to the high costs of shipping, we ONLY accept soccer clothing and equipment. This includes: soccer jerseys, soccer shorts, cleats, shinguards, balls, nets, cones, goalie gear, and soccer socks. Please do not donate other types of sports equipment.
- All clothing and equipment must be clean.
- We cannot accept any clothing that is ripped, frayed, or has holes.
- If you donate shoes or shinguards, please be sure to bundle each pair together with rubber bands or string.
Equipment donations should be sent to:
Rush Soccer, REACH Program
8101 S. Shaffer Parkway, Suite 101
Littleton, CO 80127