As cities and towns across the country assess their back-to-school plans, athletic teams and after school programs are looking at how fall sports and extra-curricular activities can move forward safely. Eight million students and 500,000 coaches participate in sports; 4 million students are in performing arts and 300 million-plus fans are involved in high school activities throughout the school year, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations.
Funding for these activities is usually supplemented through in-person fundraising opportunities, such as selling candy bars, washing cars or selling coupon books, but these methods may not be realistic in today’s environment. U.S. Cellular’s Community Connections program provides a virtual way for K-12 groups to raise up to $1,000, whether they need face masks and cleaning supplies or equipment and uniforms. Organizers can register their group at uscellular.com/communityconnections to start earning sponsorship support online.
“Many academic and athletic groups and organizations have had to think differently about fundraising this year due to COVID-19, and this program can be a great fundraising alternative for them,” said Jared Blecha, director of sales in Wisconsin. “We know there are several groups in need of financial support, and by investing in them, we can help ensure that all kids get a fair shot to achieve their goals in a safe and responsible manner.”
Once registered, local non-profit academic and athletic groups representing youth up to 12th grade have 14 days to rally their friends, families and supporters to complete online activities that include taking short surveys, watching videos or following U.S. Cellular on its social channels. Each completed activity earns money that goes directly to the organization – up to $1,000 – and the website makes it easy to spread the word on social media.
Since launching the program in 2015, U.S. Cellular has awarded $1.4 million to nearly 3,000 groups nationwide. For more information and to view the official rules, please go to uscellular.com/communityconnections.