More than 1,000 children in some of the world’s poorest areas will be fed for a year thanks to the generosity of Saints fans, after a fantastic start to the fundraising partnership with Mary’s Meals.
The organisation was announced as the club’s Official International Charity Partner in early December, beginning a season-long collaboration to support their vital work and that of the Saints Foundation.
The vision of Mary’s Meals, which works in some of the most deprived countries around the globe, is to provide a daily meal to every child in their place of education, while also encouraging those who have more than they need to share with those who lack even the most basic things.
A series of fundraising initiatives were held during the opening weeks of the partnership, including contributions from ticket booking fees and the sales of matchday magazines and other Saints products, with a total of £19,897.41 being raised in the period prior to December 28th.
That will be split evenly between Mary’s Meals and the Saints Foundation, who support a variety of good causes and important projects in Southampton and the surrounding area.
In addition, the UK government is set to provide an additional £5,326.66 to Mary’s Meals through the UK Aid Match scheme. That takes the total donated to the charity in the first weeks of the partnership to £15,275.37.
Mary’s Meals currently helps over one million children worldwide, with a £12.20 donation enough to feed a child for a whole school year. That means Saints fans have already helped raise enough to support 1,252 youngsters for a 12-month period.
The fundraising work continues as the season goes on, and already on the horizon is a special charity night at St Mary’s Stadium next month, which will hopefully result in even more young people in need around the world receiving potentially life-changing assistance.
The event, which will take place on Wednesday 9th March from 7pm GMT, will see guests given the opportunity to watch a first-look preview of a new short film that raises awareness of the work of Mary’s Meals, while also learning more about the Saints Foundation’s role in the community.
Southampton owner Katharina Liebherr, chairman Ralph Krueger and a host of Saints’ first-team players and staff will join guests at the evening, as will Mary’s Meals founder and CEO Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow.
A wide range of special auction prizes, including the opportunity to train with Ronald Koeman’s first-team, will be on offer as well.
Tickets for the event, priced at £112.20, are still available. They can be purchased by calling the Saints Foundation on +44 2380 711967. Proceeds from the event will be split equally between Mary’s Meals and the Saints Foundation.