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United Drives to collect soccer equipment during month of July

Donations collected at July home matches will benefit anti-gang program Athletes to Atleta

Throughout the 2011 Major League Soccer season, D.C. United collects items at every home game to benefit pre-determined non-profit organizations within the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area.  This July, the club will collect soccer equipment to benefit Athletes to Atleta in support of United Drives. As a D.C. United signature program, United Drives assigns a different charity drive for each month of the MLS regular season, including the collection of games, toys, food, children’s books, and school supplies.

Athletes to Atleta is an anti-gang program aimed at encouraging North American high school students and soccer enthusiasts to give back to their country of origin while providing them a strong connection with their home school through after school and summer activities, such as playing soccer.

Founded in Northern Virigina, Athletes to Atleta hopes that involvement in their program will keep young men wearing school colors rather than gang colors. Athletes to Atleta also provides high school students with the opportunity to learn real life skills in shipping, international trade and web design through the collection and shipment of soccer equipment to Latin America.

Soccer equipment may include uniforms, cleats, soccer balls, trophies and goalie equipment.        

A D.C. United Challenge has been established to help encourage and create an opportunity for elementary and middle schools to give back to the community.  It provides a competition between D.C. area schools to collect the greatest amount of United Drives items each month.  The monthly winners will receive a pizza party with a D.C. United player to celebrate the schools’ achievement.  If your institution is interested in taking The Challenge, please contact D.C. United’s Community Relations Department.

Additionally, all fans that donate an item will receive a “Buy One, Get One Free” ticket voucher, redeemable for a 2011 regular season home game.  The collection bin on game days is located outside RFK Stadium’s Gate A, and is open from two hours prior to the game until 15 minutes after kickoff.

Donations are also accepted in the D.C. United offices on non-game days, located on the fourth floor of Gate A.  This season marks the eighth year of the United Drives campaign, which collects much-needed items to help with each beneficiary mission.

For more information on United Drives or any of the D.C. United’s community initiatives, please call (202) 587-5000.