Pittsburgh Steelers defensive captain Cameron Heyward helped children in Kenya receive clean drinking water this year by partnering with Underdogs United.
While fighting offensive tackles on the field, Cameron Heyward spent part of his season teaming up with Underdogs United and the Global Jersey Exchange to help children in Kenya receive clean drinking water. The program auctions off professional athlete’s jerseys and uses 100% of the proceeds to implement clean drinking water into schools within rural Kenya.
"“The Global Jersey Exchange is an initiative that we’re (Underdogs United) running with athletes all over the world, where they are exchanging a signed jersey and the proceeds fund clean drinking water for these schools,” said Stephen Gabauer, founder of Underdogs United. “In return, we’ve partnered with a team of local (Kenyan) tailors to stitch a handmade custom jersey using east African fabrics and style.”"
Athletes like Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving Alicia Newman, Alex Morgan, Pens player have partnered with this initiative to help bring awareness and raise money for these children. Amongst a mist of stars, though, Heyward has taken on a leadership role to push a cause he feels strongly about.
"“He’s absolutely been one of the leaders of the initiative. He was one of the first major athletes to commit. I think having a Pittsburgh Steeler involved as a Pittsburgh organization has really catapulted and snowballed for us,” Gabauer said. “We’re so thankful for Cam, he’s certainly been one of the model players involved.”"
Heyward’s jersey has already been auctioned and sold, being bought for $270 on Underdogs United’s website. With this sale, the company will be able to provide safe drinking water to over 50 children on average. It has also introduced a number of other Pittsburgh stars to the program, allowing more Steelers to donate their jersey’s that will be auctioned in the future.
Gabauer’s vision after spending time in Kenya and realizing the struggles these children face every day. Now, he’s looking to continue growing his company and reach 10,000 children by the end of 2019. With a growing number of athletes joining the program, Gabauer is hoping to build a sports clothing line with meaning, and one that can benefit children across the globe.
"“There seems to be a shift in the way we shop nowadays, and to create a meaningful initiative and sportswear line is exciting to us because we’re able to create something that looks good and helps people feel good by knowing they’re giving back as part of their shopping experience,” Gabauer said."
Keep an eye out for the next member of the Steelers to auction their jersey. Gabauer also said a number of Pittsburgh Penguins players are joining the movement, providing plenty of Steel City memorabilia to be purchased this year. Stay connected with Still Curtain and Underdogs United to see which Pittsburgh stars auction their jerseys, next.