The Quakes and Wells Fargo are humbled and inspired by the amazing work of our frontline communities and neighbors in this time of crisis. Each week, we’ll be featuring and highlighting the work of one fantastic neighborhood hero, showcasing the great work they are doing and the organizations our community can rally around.
Additionally, a donation will be made to an organization or community project on behalf of each week’s hero. This week we will be donating to ACCESS U.
Alianza de Futbol is the largest and most prestigious soccer program in the U.S. Prior to March 2020, the sports marketing agency planned soccer events and scouting platforms for Hispanic youth and adults around the country.
Their season usually runs May through September, but when the pandemic hit, they were forced to postpone their plans. Joaquin Escoto, Managing Partner at BRC Group, owner of Alianza de Futbol, was faced with the challenge of planning their next moves in a very unpredictable time.
In June, Alianza de Futbol stopped all their season planning and shifted their energy into figuring out how they could best support communities all over the U.S. Pivoting from their usual roles, those who booked soccer fields were now booking parking lot venues, and those who recruited players began recruiting volunteers. “We had to pivot and learn very fast,” says Joaquin.
It took Alianza de Futbol three months of planning to start ‘Alianza Contigo,’ a nationwide tour arranging distribution events of meals and household items throughout 10 major cities. Since they are used to coordinating events of this magnitude, Alianza Contigo came together quickly with the support of their sponsors and partners. The tour began in El Paso, TX on September 12, and will close out in Los Angeles on December 5. This Saturday, Alianza Contigo is making its second-to-last stop in San Jose.
At each event, Alianza Contigo is providing a no-contact drive-through experience and giving away food and household items to hundreds of families. Alianza Contigo partners with many national sponsors like Allstate, Verizon, Gatorade, Good360 and TUDN and more. For each city they visit, they also partner with local organizations and food banks. Alianza Contigo is partnering with Second Harvest of Silicon Valley and Reaching Out for the event this Saturday in San Jose, which will be held at the Cathedral of Faith in downtown.
As the tour passes through San Jose around Thanksgiving, they are expecting even more people to show up to the distribution. Alianza Contigo is preparing for 1,000 cars or roughly 2,000 families in San Jose this weekend. With an event of this size, Alianza Contigo coordinates with each city’s local sheriffs to make sure that traffic is under control and the operation is carried out smoothly and safely.
An operation this large also demands much assistance. On average, Alianza Contigo has been joined by 100 volunteers for each of these city stops. In cities with an MLS presence, they have seen great turn out and support from players, alumni, staff and fans coming to volunteer.
“It's a bittersweet feeling,” says Joaquin. “The more people who come, the bigger the need is.”
But this tour is not the only thing Alianza de Futbol has been doing in response to the pandemic. They have been sharing the stories of Hispanic youth in the program and publishing these stories on their website. They have also been giving free coaching clinics from an esteemed coaching staff via Facebook.
When the pandemic winds down, Joaquin and Alianza de Futbol hope to continue serving their community in some capacity. If the pandemic is still around in the near future, there is no hesitation that they will continue providing meals and necessities to our communities.
“We’re prepared for it and we're ready to do it again if necessary,” says Joaquin. “We’re excited to help out in any way possible,” says Joaquin.
For more information on Alianza de Futbol and Alianza Contigo, visit alianzadefutbol.com.
When: Saturday, November 21st from 9am to 1pm
Where: Cathedral of Faith Main Campus (2315 Canoas Garden Ave, San Jose, CA 95125)