They are a number one seed going into NCAA tournament play this week, have two of the best freshmen in the country and a lot of brackets will hang on the success or failure of their team. With a 30+ win season, the University of Kentucky Wildcats have made strides to succeed off the court by using their fan base to help out those less fortunate.
When the devastating earthquake hit Haiti back in January, many people sought to help out through text donations to the Red Cross as an initial way to reach out. Coach John Calipari and his Wildcats organized “Hoops for Haiti” – an effort that raised $1.2 million dollars in just five short days. The main effort went into organizing an hour and a half long telethon broadcast where UK players and other United Way volunteers answered calls to take pledges. Even coaches from competing schools like Rick Barnes of Texas, Tubby Smith of Minnesota and Tom Izzo at Michigan State made private donations to the effort. President Obama even made a point to call the Cats to congratulate them on their fundraising efforts.
According to an article found here, raising over a million dollars in just a few days is impressive in itself but the fact that the state of Kentucky is ranked 47th in per capita income makes a much bigger statement on generosity. Using their loyalty base, UK made a huge impact on others who needed help most at the time.
Many other organizations have a loyal following, maybe even your own. How can other groups use their own brand loyalty to make a difference elsehwhere?
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