Heron Talk presented by Gallagher
Today on National Nonprofit Day, Inter Miami CF revealed the Inter Miami CF Foundation, the Club’s 501(c)3 community-drive nonprofit arm that, since the Club’s inception, has been relentlessly working to harness the power of futbol to do good and provide meaningful and tangible results within the South Florida community.
Following the announcement, Adriana Sandoval, Inter Miami CF Director of Community Engagement and Foundation, gave insight into what the foundation has been doing behind-the-scenes in recent years.
“We [were] looking to publicly come out with everything on National Nonprofit Day. We think it’s going to be incredible to let the world know what we’ve been doing,” said Sandoval. “What we’ve been doing for the last two, almost three years is creating relationships, going into the community, speaking to the people who need help so they can tell us what they need.”
Sandoval also passed along an exciting announcement for Inter Miami CF supporters, as the foundation will set up a foundation store with all proceeds heading directly to the Inter Miami CF Foundation.
“A part of this launch is at our retail store. There will be limited edition Mitchell & Ness T-shirts, as well as a couple of other items, that are going to be up there while supplies last,” said Sandoval. “Periodically, we’re going to add signed memorabilia, like team jerseys, iconic moments in Club history that were signed that we have memorabilia for. All of that is going to be up for sale and 100% of the proceeds go to the foundation so we can invest it into the community.”
Chief Soccer Officer and Sporting Director Chris Henderson, expressed his excitement for the reveal of the Inter Miami CF Foundation, and emphasized the organization’s commitment beyond the pitch.
“We have been involved in our community and getting out in the South Florida community and giving back for the past two years. But, to officially have the Inter Miami CF Foundation [revealed] is an exciting day for us. You look at, ‘who’s the MVP, who’s the leading scorer’, I always look at who’s the humanitarian here. Who is representing the values of our club and representing Inter Miami and our community and connecting our fans, our community, our players with each other by doing good through fútbol…It’s a big day for our club, Jose Mas, Jorge Mas, and David Beckham, it’s a very important thing for them to be involved in the community for them to give back. That’s one of the reasons the Mas brothers got involved with Major League Soccer and Inter Miami, and we are proud to represent and be the face of that initiative,” said Henderson.
Goalkeeper Drake Callender, one of the club’s most active players in the community, also shared his passion for giving back.
“It’s massive. When I was younger, I always thought about doing it; giving back in some way, shape or form,” said Callender.
“I really feel like since the origin of this club, the inception of this club, there’s been the intention to do more than just play soccer here. Things from the literacy program last year where we hosted a book fair at Oriole Elementary where kids got free books, [to when] we hosted a tournament for first responders last year as well. Just being present with them, showing up, talking to people from the ground up is huge,” he stated.
Callender along with his 27 other teammates on the first team roster, all contributed donations to the Inter Miami CF Foundation. Callender embraced the responsibility bestowed upon professional athletes to be able to make a difference outside of the field of play.
“It’s something that, as a pro, you have a short period of time that you’ll be playing that you’ll have the opportunity to make a difference. I’m honored to be a part of a club that has the intention of doing that,” Callender reflected.
Henderson echoed Callender’s sentiments as he discussed how much being a helping hand to the community meant to him as a player.
“I talk about when I was a player, it was always important to get out in the community and represent the club I was at and try to help people. You have a short period where you are a professional athlete and you can influence people’s lives and be a role model,” said Henderson.
Argentine forward Gonzalo Higuaín gave his perspective on the reveal, sharing his belief that there is nothing greater than being able to offer help.
“I think the foundation is very important. We hope it continues to grow and receive donations, because I think the most beautiful thing in life is to be able to help. I hope the Inter Miami CF Foundation is very successful and we hope that it can grow even further.”