Braselton, Georgia, United States: Neighbourhoods, cities, countries and people from different backgrounds and parts of the world are banding together in the fight against Covid-19. Some of those leaders are junior golfers.
Lu Yuwen and Eddie Zhang, both from the Chinese city of Shanghai, and Junior Golf Tour of Asia players, decided to act through the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) Leadership Links programme.
They are raising money and awareness for Direct Relief, a humanitarian aid organisation in more than 80 countries. The organisation is currently focused on providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to health care workers, making ICU medication and equipment more accessible and providing staffing and support to overwhelmed facilities.
“I started this donation because I wanted to help out in a crisis like this,” said Lu. “There is a supply shock as factories are shut down as mandated by the government. The best way I knew how to help was to directly donate money to get more supplies.”
Lu started with the goal to raise US$1,000, but with the help of her friends and high school sharing her story through social media, she collected more than US$3,000 to help Direct Relief.
Zhang said he felt compelled to help when he saw how people were suffering. “The Leadership Links platform made it easy to start the fund-raising process and I hope this money can help make some change, even if it is small, to the crisis in China as well as my fellow junior golfers who lack the financial resources to compete at a national level,” Zhang said.
Since 2009, more than 3,177 total junior golfers have:
- Logged nearly 30,000 volunteer hours
- Raised nearly US$3 million
- Supported more than 2,500 charities
Currently, 46 AJGA members are working on projects to support Covid-19 efforts.
The Leadership Links mission is to help juniors make a community impact. AJGA resources and tools make giving back to the community easy and fun.
To start, juniors select a charity with a personalised website and marketing materials being created to support fund-raising goals.
Participants can choose how they want to be involved:
- Volunteer time
- Host a State Cup Series match play event with their friends
- Invite community donors for golf or social functions
- Create something totally new
Proceeds are split between the junior’s charity and the AJGA’s Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant programme. The ACE Grant is a financial assistance programme which ensures junior golfers play in top tournaments by covering entry fees and travel expenses for qualified national junior golf, high school state and USGA events.