Manchester United’s first-team squad has pledged £250,000 to help support vulnerable children this winter, as part of the Foundation’s Santa’s Red Helpers campaign.
Representing the team, club captain Harry Maguire marked the players’ significant donation with a visit to Old Trafford on Thursday to take part in the preparation of food hampers and packing of festive gifts for children across Greater Manchester.
During the visit, Harry met some of the many members of staff who have volunteered their time to help ensure these much-needed deliveries, including thousands of food hampers and presents, go out on schedule.
The United defender chatted with volunteers and Foundation staff, hearing more about the campaign and the club-wide effort, before helping the team pack bags and load a van in preparation for delivery.
“This is a fantastic campaign that I know the club, the staff and the players are all behind,” Harry said. “The first team came together recently to talk about the campaign and it was very clear straight away that everybody wanted to be involved and to contribute.”
Harry added: “I’ve been lucky enough to come down today and see all the food hampers and the activity bags being readied and hear how so many people will benefit. I’ll be going back to the lads to tell them about all the hard work that staff members are putting in.
“It’s clear that the young people of Manchester will benefit from this and it’s so important that we look after them.”
Matt Johnson, operations director at Manchester United Foundation, stressed how important it was for Harry and the team to get behind the initiative.
“Child poverty is on the increase in Greater Manchester and as a Foundation and club we want to ensure that the most vulnerable children get food and presents this Christmas,” Matt said.
“Having the players so actively supporting the campaign with finances and time is inspiring to everyone and shows the true family values of the club and its people. Harry was so humble and truly wants to get involved with the programme. No job was too big or small for him and he was a great lift to our Red Helpers who have been packing the food and activity bags.
“With such a united approach across the club, spearheaded by Harry and the players, we should be able to achieve something we have never done before in providing thousands of meals, hampers and gifts to vulnerable children across Greater Manchester. I have no doubt we can bring some festive cheer to lots of children.”
On Tuesday 1st December, the Foundation launched its Christmas call-to-action, encouraging fans to follow staff and players in becoming Santa’s Red Helpers and donate to help provide food, gifts and support to vulnerable children this Christmas.
Like Harry, fans can also become Red Helpers by contributing whatever they can to ensure that we make as big a difference as possible to the welfare of children in Greater Manchester and beyond this Christmas.
To find out how you can become one of Santa’s Red Helpers, please visit: www.mufoundation.org/redhelpers