The Indianapolis Colts may not have won the Super Bowl on Sunday, but for many in the quake-hit areas of Haiti, it may appear as if they had.
In the coming months, Christian humanitarian agency World Vision will be sending the losing team's pre-prepared championship memorabilia to be received by needy children and families who were left with few possessions following Haiti's catastrophic earthquake.
"For years, World Vision has helped us to ensure that no NFL apparel goes to waste," says David Krichavsky, NFL Director of Community Relations. "With the enormous needs in Haiti and World Vision's long-term presence there, we know that these goods will go to very good use."
Since 1992, World Vision has partnered with the National Football League to accept hundreds of official shirts and caps immediately following the America’s biggest sports event.
Every year, shirts, caps, and trophy towels announcing each team as the winner are produced prior to championship game – kept on hand for the winning team's players to wear immediately following the game. Additionally, major sporting good retailers and manufacturers stock large quantities of official apparel in anticipation of either team winning the Super Bowl.
Once the winner is known, the losing team’s items, valued at over $2 million, are donated and shipped – rather than destroyed – from the Super Bowl host city to World Vision’s Gifts-in-Kind Distribution Center in Pittsburgh.
From there, the apparel are usually sorted and shipped to various countries where World Vision workers distribute them to needy children and families, many of whom have never owned new clothing in their lives.
This year, in light of last month’s magnitude-7.0 earthquake in Haiti, it was no surprise that the losing team's apparel would go to the Haitian children and families who are still struggling to cope with devastation left behind by the Jan. 12 quake.
Since the quake struck the capital city of Port-au-Prince and the surrounding areas, the country and the world has been mourning for the estimated 200,000 who died and struggling to aid the some one million who are now homeless.
As of Thursday, around $703 million has been raised for pledged through 82 U.S. organizations for Haiti relief efforts. Tuesday marks four weeks since the quake struck.