Central New York, centered on the city of Syracuse, is a community of around 600,000. The growth of the community surged during the heyday of the Erie Canal and the industrialization which ensued. However, subsequent economic downturns and market forces have devastated the industrial economy of Central New York, as they have much of what it known as the “Rust Belt” within which Central New York is located.
Today, Syracuse has an extremely high rate of poverty (see here). The poverty rate among children is especially alarming. According to a recent article, "Syracuse has the highest child poverty in the nation among cities with at least 100,000 people, according to new census data released today. The poverty rate among kids under 18 is 48.4% in Syracuse, ranking the city ahead of places like Detroit and Cleveland." (see here).
One of the bright spots has been Syracuse University, a thriving large institution with an enrollment of over 20,000 students, and its famous athletic programs. The popularity of these athletic programs in Central New York is enormous. For example, since the opening of the Syracuse dome in September 1980, "the Syracuse men's basketball team has led the NCAA in average attendance 16 times and holds the NCAA records for highest total home court attendance in a season - 537,949, (1990), highest average home court attendance in a season - 29,918 (1989), and the largest home court single game attendance - 35,642 (vs. Duke, 2019)." (see here).
AWC seeks to utilize the prestige of the athletes who participate in its programs for the purpose of drawing attention and support for those organizations recognized under 501(c)(3) which could benefit from the publicity associated with the involvement of the athletes. The involvement of these athletes can not only garner potential volunteerism and monetary support from adults, but also benefit local children. The athletes are often regarded as heroes and role models by children, including those who live in the underprivileged areas of Syracuse. By availing the local schools and 501(c)(3) recognized community organizations of the involvement of these athletes, these students can be motivated in a manner that can have a lasting positive influence on their lives.
Athletes Who Care works with Syracuse University student-athletes to provide meaningful charitable opportunities, which benefit our Central New York Community.
Athletes Who Care, Inc. a 501(c)(3) charity was formed during the summer of 2022 for the purpose of supporting other charities in central New York in their efforts to provide education, combat poverty, provide services for the elderly and those who are suffering, as well as preventing cruelty to children, women and animals.
Athletes Who Care (AWC) identifies and empowers Syracuse University student-athletes who are passionate and committed to charitable work and matches them with charitable organizations in the Syracuse area which can benefit from their services. These athletes use their recognition and leadership to assist charities help those in need.
As stated above, AWC is focused on assisting recognized 501(c)(3) organizations in Central New York, by leveraging the popularity of student-athletes. While the need, as described above, is ample, the support required by these organizations is huge. AWC believes that by leverage the popularity of these student-athletes it will be able to encourage greater public support for these organizations. For example, by having student-athletes attend activities at local 501(c)(3) which runs a soup kitchen, the organization was able to get significant media coverage, publicity that is essential for them in recruiting volunteers and donations. (see here).
Contact Matt Palumb or Cliff Ensley for more information.