United Builds beautifies DC public schools
This past Saturday, more than 30 members of the D.C. United family gave of their time for D.C. Public Schools Beautification Day. The day’s work was organized as part of the club’s volunteer program, United Builds.
“We absolutely would not have been ready for kids without all of the volunteers that came in today,” said Ketcham principal Tandi Tyler. “Things that wouldn’t have been done for weeks, we’re actually able to get done today, and it’s touching to see how many folks gave up their Saturday to come in and help us out and make sure our kids have smiling faces on Monday.”
D.C. United front office staff, club supporters, and first team players split their time between Ketcham and Orr Elementary Schools in southeast DC, helping to pick up trash, pull weeds, clean and organize classrooms, and generally tidy up the schools before students’ arrival on Monday.
“I have a background in education, so I’ve been on the other side of this,” said United supporter Liz Gossens, who also recently volunteered with United Builds at a back-to-school shopping event for students. “I know how important it is to have people come out and step up and it really does make a huge difference.”
D.C. United’s representatives had the opportunity to work alongside DC Mayor Vincent Gray and DC Chief of Police Cathy Lanier, who spent time at Orr Elementary on Saturday.
“It’s definitely neat to see people from different organizations coming together for a common cause,” said D.C. United midfielder Stephen King, who spent time at both schools during the day.
D.C. United’s support of DC public schools is not just a one-day event; Through the team’s foundation, United for D.C., Ketcham participates in United Reads – receiving hundreds of books for students, as well as visits from D.C. United players and staff during the school year – and both schools host United Soccer Club, which provides after school soccer programming for hundreds of students in DC.
“I want to make DC a better place, and ‘Win Championships, Serve the community” is the motto of the team and I think fans should support that mission, too,” said D.C. United supporter Matthew Eide, who spent his morning cleaning up Ketcham’s grounds and helping to unpack boxes in a classroom.
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