Charity through Fantasy Football

By Jason Tran @jasontran

Someone recently told me “write about what you like the most in fantasy football if you are going to take a shot at it.” I immediately knew what the answer was. My favorite part about fantasy football is the community. The thing that has stood out the most to me is the amount of charity that I have seen throughout this community. I wanted to take time not only to raise awareness of the awesome things people are doing, but also to encourage people to participate themselves. I hope, if you take the time to read this, you will feel the same.

I started by reaching out to some of the community members to show people what has currently been going on.

One way the community has been helping charities is through redraft leagues where the winnings go 100% to a pre-selected charity, or charity chosen by the winner. I first spoke with Allan Hepworth (@FF_Hep), who has been running such leagues, to get more information. In 2016, 5 MFL10s were created with the payouts going towards the winner’s charity of choice. In 2017, there are 3 such leagues already, along with 3 leagues where 100% of the buy-ins are donated to a selected charity. Allan is also the commissioner of the Fantasy Philanthropists League in which 30% is donated. These leagues have raised $1,300 and counting which will be donated to different charities!

I also reached out to both Curtis Patrick (@DynastyCommand) and Jen Ryan (@FFdeJENerate) to talk a little about their recent charity work with The Social Scene Club (@SocialSceneClub). The Social Scene Club is a club for adults with special needs, based out of Lyndhurst, NJ. The club was founded by Jen’s sisters to provide a comfortable environment for its members. You can learn more about the club on their website at thesocialsceneclub.com.

Recently, Curtis created a fundraiser that allowed members of the community to purchase shirts in which the proceeds were able to go towards the Social Scene Club scholarship fund. Overall, $1,360 was raised towards the fund through the shirt sales!

After speaking with these community members, all the roads led to one person. That person is Scott Fish (@ScottFish24). If you are reading this as part of the community, odds are you already know who I am talking about. Scott is the head of FantasyCares.net and the Scott Fish Bowl, the “largest fantasy league in the world”. Fantasy Cares is where community members come together to play in leagues which help raise money that goes to Toys for Tots. There are multiple types of leagues that people can join to benefit the cause. According to the site, in 2016 over $6000 was raised! Scott hopes that this year will be even better. There are currently 3 different types of leagues that you can join to help out, as well as a donation link if you are not interested in participating in the leagues. Another way that money is being raised is by T-Shirt sales, run by Curtis as well, in support of both the Scott Fish Bowl and Fantasy Cares. The current run of shirts raised $850, and will return for purchase later this offseason. If you are interested in the shirts follow Curtis or Scott on twitter and more information will be released shortly.

After talking with these members of the community, I gave them a chance to plug anything that they wanted for helping me make this, and I wanted to share what they had to say:

Curtis - “Life is too short to pass up opportunities to help others in need. Make a difference!”

Allan - “Imagine the possibilities if every league donated even just $1.”

Jen - “The best thing that people can do is to volunteer in their community or donate to the various charities to help those with special needs.”

Scott encourages leagues to try to donate one of the buy-ins per league to a charity.  That alone would make a huge difference in the world.

Whether you are part of the twitter fantasy football community or not, I hope you are encouraged by these amazing members to turn your leagues into something that can make a difference in the world. There are no donations that are too small to make an impact to those in need.