“The mission for Austin Anthem was originally ‘community for soccer.’ It wasn’t until much later that I realized we’d also build ‘soccer for community.’”

- Josh Babetski

Often, we hear soccer fans talk about the global game bringing people together. More than any other sport, soccer creates community and joins people from all walks of life. No matter where you came from, or what your background is, soccer provides a common experience and shared passion for all.

At Austin Anthem, it’s one of the things that excites us most about the potential of our own Major League Soccer franchise. Together, we can build a community that’s greater than just a group of people who have fun cheering on our team for ninety minutes on game days. We believe that we can make a better Austin through the power of soccer, and we like to think that we’re off to a good start.

Feeding Those in Need

In January, the Central Texas Food Bank posted a notice that their inventory was critically low. A major contributor to that fact was the government shutdown. In less than seven days, Austin Anthem organized at food drive at Haymaker to coincide with a US Men’s National Team watch party on a Sunday night. Joined by several other local soccer organizations, we rallied to action. During the course of the match, we loaded three carloads full of nonperishable food items to help our neighbors who were in the most need. When those cars were unloaded on Monday, we’d raised over a half ton of food for the Food Bank.

Soccer For All

The Westlake TOPS program is a unique program that provides playing opportunities for school-aged children with special needs who might otherwise be excluded from opportunities to play the game. The program encourages inclusion on the field, and nobody is turned away. Chloe Hanson, our director of accessibility, has a passion for helping challenged individuals realize their sports dreams and arranged Anthem members to volunteer with TOPS throughout the spring season. Members who’ve volunteered have all found the passion and enthusiasm of the kids participating in the program to be contagious.

Partnering With Others

There are several soccer nonprofits in Austin who do good work, and we’re proud to work with each of them. Austin Anthem is partnering with two of them on events this spring, and we look to engaging with more in the future.

  • Soccer Assist is a nonprofit that provides youth scholarships for players who have the talents, but not the means, to play club soccer. Austin Anthem’s own murga served as part of the program during the Soccer Assist Annual Fundraiser on May 18. Many of our members were also in attendance at the gala, enjoying the music and contributing to a good cause.
  • Austin Soccer Foundation supports underserved and economically disadvantaged residents in Austin and the surrounding five county area through the beautiful game focused on player and referee development, academic advancement, and field development. Austin Anthem is partnering with the group for its Annual Footgolf Tournament and fundraiser, which will be held on June 9 at the Harvey Penick Golf Campus. Learn more and register here.

These stories illustrate just a few of the ways that Austin Anthem is working together to strengthen our community. We’ve also volunteered during the Special Olympics, served as the volunteer cleanup crew after Latinitas’ Party for Chica Power, supported Austin Parks Foundation to beautify a local park, and our members have volunteered countless time pursuing their passion for a greater, more inclusive Austin for all.

If you’ve joined us for one or more of these opportunities, thank you from the bottoms of our hearts. If you’re passionate about something, but haven’t had the chance to participate yet, we look forward to seeing you in the future. If you want to join up with other like-minded soccer fans to build community, please consider purchasing a membership. If you have a cause that you think is a good fit for Austin Anthem and our philanthropic efforts, contact philanthropy@austinanthem.org and let us know what you have in mind.