We Kick Corona
On 20th March, they announced that they were launching a charity, and We Kick Corona was born. This simple concept took the footballing world by storm, attracting dozens of footballers and managers – and eventually 3800 donors – to come forward to help the most vulnerable across Germany and beyond.
The aim of We Kick Corona is to support those charities and organisations, big and small, who were struggling financially due to closures and the sudden inactivity of society. Goretzka and Kimmich say on the charity’s website “As professional footballers, we live a healthy and privileged life. We therefore feel obliged to take on responsibility in these difficult times”.
So far, the initiative has helped 480 projects all over Germany. This includes vital support relating directly to the pandemic, including food deliveries to those in isolation, hospital support, provision of medical equipment in the community, blood donation facilities, and more. However, it is not just health charities and initiatives that are receiving assistance, but also local and national charities who are struggling because of these exceptional circumstances. They list all 480 projects on their website, and the recipients are as diverse as you would expect, from support for Alzheimer’s sufferers, people with drug additcion, women in danger and young people in deprived areas. At the height of the crisis, charities providing these support facilities were no longer able to operate and fundraise in their usual way, so were losing money week after week. A charity like We Kick Corona is a lifeline for these organisations, some of which would have been on the brink of closure without financial aid.
In August, it was announced that the Auschwitz Memorial Museum would receive 75,000 euros from We Kick Corona. The donation will help to offset lost revenue from visitors since March, and set up a special exhibition educating future visitors about sportsmen and women who were deported to Auschwitz. It is vital that this sort of educational work continues into our future, and that organisations like this are preserved for future generations. What a tragedy it would be if some of the worthwhile charities which have been working tirelessly for education, tolerance and support for those in need were erased forever because of a few months of lost revenue. This is why We Kick Corona has been so vital – it’s not just a charity doing good right now, but something helping to sustain good works into the future.
The We Kick Corona website has a simple form to fill in and promises “immediate help” to those who qualify. As well as being easy to apply, it is also easy to donate. Anybody can donate on the website with a quick bank transfer. The charity has received donations from 3800 donors so far. This includes companies as well as ordinary people like you and I. It also includes celebrities and athletes from other sports, but the most significant support base is from the founders’ fellow footballers. These footballers come from everywhere in the world, but there is substantial support from Bundesliga stars such as Mats Hummels, Lars Stindl, Jonathan Tah, and particularly our own FC Bayern family: Hansi Flick, Sven Ulreich and Lina Magull, as well as new boys Leroy Sané and Alexander Nübel.
Kimmich and Goretzka are not the only ones with this point of view. Across all leagues, footballers have been proactively working on projects to help during the crisis. Premier League legends Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs opened up their hotel for free accommodation for nursing staff, Joe Cole set up a charity to 3D print visors for key workers, and Jordan Henderson set up PlayersTogether for footballers across England to give back to healthcare charities. Marcus Rashford famously (and successfully) petitioned the UK government to feed hundreds of thousands of children who would have gone hungry over summer.
La Liga’s Santander Festival brought footballers from every top flight club, as well as singers and other sports stars, together to entertain Spanish citizens in lockdown. The event also managed to raise 625,000 Euros. Messi and Ronaldo donated a million euros each to hospitals in Barcelona and Lisbon respectively. PSG’s Neymar made a sizeable donation to Unicef, and Mbappe donated to homeless charities across France. There are countless more tales of footballers – both the superstar millionaires and the lower league players – across the world working with the homeless and foodbanks, using their influence to petition governments, and making video calls to isolated fans.
Closer to home, Gladbach’s cardboard cut outs of fans raised 40,000 euros for charity, Wolfsburg players volunteered at a supermarket stacking shelves, and Dortmund turned their stadium into a treatment centre. Our own Robert Lewandowski donated a million euros to fight coronavirus, Jerome Boateng provided significant support to a Munich foodbank and Thomas Müller delivered food supplies to those isolated at home.
This initiative is not a new thing for Bayern. We have a long history of charitable works and community support, and Kimmich and Goretzka are just playing their part in a long line of Bayern Munich players doing their bit to change the world. Our captain set up the Manuel Neuer Kids Foundation for children in deprived areas many years ago. Thomas Müller runs a charity auction for Young Wings each year, and regularly takes part in golf and Schafskopf tournaments for charity. As a club, Bayern have also given significant financial support to other clubs, big and small, who were at risk of financial ruin. The club’s charity foundation FC Bayern Hilfe eV works with the disabled, children with cancer, and people in financial difficulty, among others. As Uli Hoeness says, “those who are successful must always help the weak”.
Coronavirus seems to have brought out the best in people. From the nurses living away from family, endangering their own lives each day, to the children putting encouraging notes through elderly neighbours’ doors. We have all played our part, and it has been heart-warming to see that our footballing heroes all over the world are no different. So many footballers came together to give back to the world, and it’s wonderful that Leon and Joshua will go down in history alongside the rest of them. Our players’ football skills and achievements are enough to keep us supporting them for a lifetime, but their generosity off the pitch has certainly made me even more proud to call myself a Bayern fan.