The wardrobe clear-out.
It's a task we all take on every year or two, and it's a task that's always painful.
And it's painful because:
- It always takes an outrageously long time to actually do.
- There's some clothes you don't want to give up on despite definitely 'growing' out of them (lockdown life did no one any favours).
- The 'what the hell was I thinking?' embarrassment you feel when you lift out a pair of skin tight salmon chinos.
When this clear-out is eventually completed, we're all left with two things in our wardrobe: the clothes we wear, and the football kits we've collected over the years that don't fit us anymore.
The latter is a hard thing to just throw away. No matter how much of the wardrobe they fill up, no matter how long it's been since you've worn any of them, the nostalgia they invoke is too much for you to simply throw them in the bin with the aforementioned salmon chinos.
These football jerseys mean too much to simply throw them away.
But what if, instead of 'throwing them away', you knew that you were able to give them away to someone else who appreciate these kits as much as you do.
"It’s more than just a shirt, it's sharing the passion for football across the developing world."- Derrick Williams MBE, KitAid
Well, that's where Football Tackles 'charity of the week' KitAid comes in.
KitAid is a charity that recycles your once loved football kits and distributes them to underprivileged children and adults in some of the world’s poorest countries.
The charity was set up by Derrick Williams MBE, who visited Tanzania on a WaterAid supporters’ trip in 1998. Derrick, being a mad footie fan, was amazed at the reception he received from children and adults in remote villages just because he wearing his favourite football shirt (Watford, Chesham Utd, Liverpool FC to name a few).
After two weeks in Tanzania, a flame was lit in Derrick’s heart and he was on a mission to provide kit world.
Since then, over 800,000s football kits have been sent to the developing world by KitAid.
That is an astonishing amount of kit - in fact, it's enough to fill Wembley Stadium six times over.
This has been achieved by a small group of remarkable volunteers - there are 30 regional coordinators - who are driven by a passion to share their love of football and sport, with those, who through circumstances beyond their control, cannot participate through a lack of equipment.
Countries that kit has been donated to by KitAid over the last number of years include: Bangladesh, Brazil, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mongolia, Nigeria, Romania, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
"By donating a shirt you are most likely doubling a child’s wardrobe."- Derrick Williams MBE, KitAid
How they've donated that kit is simple: the charity act as 'enablers' who collect all of the kit, store it and then carefully sort it at their boxing up sessions in Hatfield and Liverpool. They then enter into 'partnerships' with charities and individuals who sign an agreement with us which commits them to
safely transporting the kit overseas to their project - working with 34 different charities and individuals in 2021 alone.
KitAid has proved that with passion, perseverance, and a clear vision that we can all make a difference and give something back.
By donating just one jersey you can double a child's wardrobe, de-clutter your own, help support education and social inclusion campaigns, crime prevention, quell drug/alcohol misuse, protect endangered chimpanzees from poachers and prevent gun related gang murders.
The charity ensures that your kit donation counts and will bring happiness to many different people, projects and teams across the developing world.