Not that we needed more proof that the U.S. soccer fan community is one of the best around, but the NWSL fans just gave us another example. A collection of NWSL supporters groups called Activating Communities Through Support (ACTS) is once again stepping up to make an impact in their local communities.
If you’re not familiar with ACTS, it’s a coalition that was established last year in the build-up to the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup. Since fans couldn’t stand together and cheer on their teams in stadiums, they instead stood together and made their voices heard through this NWSL supporters fundraiser. During the one-month tournament, each participating supporters group urged their members and communities to pledge a dollar amount for every goal scored during the tournament. The money raised went to the Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake, a community-based clinic that offers accessible, culturally responsive healthcare programs and services for the Native American population in Utah, which is where the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup was held. The initiative raised more than $27,000 through hundreds of donations in 2020.
This year, ACTS is building on its momentum and already has 20 NWSL supporters groups signed on and actively fundraising. And instead of fundraising for one specific nonprofit, each group has chosen its own preferred cause.
So far, the participating groups are:
- Angel City Valkyries (Angel City FC) – helping Black Women for Wellness
- Mosaic 1781 (Angel City FC) – helping Academia de Futbol Juvenil Amatense
- Pandemonium (Angel City FC) – helping I Have a Dream Foundation LA
- Rebellion 99 (Angel City FC) – helping Black Women for Wellness
- Black Fires (Chicago Red Stars) – helping HoodSpace
- Chicago Local 134 (Chicago Red Stars) – helping HoodSpace
- The Red Line SG (Chicago Red Stars) – helping HoodSpace
- Bayou City Republic (Houston Dash) – helping Say Her Name Texas
- Kansas City Blue Crew (Kansas City NWSL) – helping Shirley’s Kitchen Cabinet
- Cloud 9 Supporters Club (Gotham FC) – helping Black Alliance for Just Immigration
- The Uproar (North Carolina Courage) – helping The Black Farmers’ Market
- Royal Guard (OL Reign) – helping Black Future Co-op Fund
- Pride’s Crown (Orlando Pride) – helping Infinity Zion Farms
- Rose City Riveters (Portland Thorns) – helping Elevate Oregon
- Lavender Legion (Racing Louisville) – helping Louisville Urban League
- Lou City Ladies (Racing Louisville) – helping Louisville Urban League
- Louisville Coopers (Racing Louisville) – helping Louisville Urban League
- Louisville Ledgehogs (Racing Louisville) – helping Louisville Urban League
- Rose Room Collective (Washington Spirit) – helping Open Goal Project
- Spirit Squadron (Washington Spirit) – helping Casa Ruby
This year’s NWSL supporters fundraiser effort is also specifically supporting the Black Women’s Players Collective. The Black Women’s Player Collective is an organization that elevates the image, value, and representation of Black women as athletes and leaders in business, industry and public and private institutions. They host free soccer clinics, build mini-pitches, give youth more chances to attend NWSL games, and elevate voices and stories of Black women.
Fans can pledge donations based on everything from goals and assists, to our personal favorite – yellow cards. That’s right, if you give through the Angel City Valkyries pledge page, you will be supporting a great cause every time someone on the field goes in for a late challenge and gets booked for it..
The news came two days before the NWSL season kicks off with the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup, taking place April 9 through May 8. To learn more about the ACTS fundraiser and lend your support, visit https://acts.prideraiser.org. You can also keep track of the group’s impact via Twitter at @NWSLSG_ACTS.