The Irish Overwatch team, The Celtic Wolfhounds, have raised over €2000 for Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI) by selling jerseys.
The Wolfhounds started selling jerseys to raise money for their trip to the Overwatch World Cup in Anaheim, California in November.
The jerseys began to be sold on the last day of August. By October 9 they had raised all the money they needed. After they hit their goal they decided to donate all other money raised through the sales to DSI. 10 days later on October 19 the team had already raised €1231.30 for the charity.
“I’d rather we showcase a good cause and showcase Irish values,” explained the Irish teams general manager Andy Bohan.
He said that most, if not all, people in Ireland know someone close to them with Down Syndrome.
“It’s a cause that meant a lot to me and the team,” said Mr Bohan.
When they first started donating to DSI there was a spike in sales. Mr Bohan thinks this is because people who normally would’t buy something gaming related were suddenly interested in helping DSI.
Allson Kelly, fundraising manager at DSI said: “We were thrilled to partner with the guys to raise awareness of Down Syndrome Ireland by having our logo feature on the team jersey when they competed in the Overwatch World Cup.
“The team were obviously very proud to wear a jersey representing their country, and we’re equally proud to be a part of that.”
Mrs Kelly explained that DSI need to raise 86% of their funding through donations for the organisation to function.
“We are very much reliant on public donations, community fundraising and the generosity of groups like The Celtic Wolfhounds – this really will make such a tremendous difference to us,” said Mrs Kelly.
“We were delighted that the whole team got behind the suggestions to raise funds to support DSI from such a massive Overwatch community.”
Mrs Kelly was ‘taken with’ the warmth of the international Overwatch community and the support they showed the Wolfhounds in their fundraising efforts.
DSI is a voice for people with Down syndrome and their families throughout Ireland. They provide a wide range of services, supports and programmes for their 3,500 members.
All the programmes and resources funded through their National Office enhance the lives of thousands of children and adults with Down Syndrome. They provide support for people with Down Syndrome in areas such as early intervention, speech and employment opportunities.
The jerseys themselves also made it into the hands of some prominent members of the Overwatch community.
She showed off her own personalised jersey which featured her gamertag ‘Soembie’.Another member of the broadcast talent Mitch ‘Ubershouts’ Leslie also showed off his jersey on Twitter which featured ‘Uber’ on the back.
In America the team gave their unused food and toiletries from their trip to American health care organisation Share Our Shelves.