United Way, NFL unveil Spanish-language effort

WASHINGTON: As part of the organization's annual "Lend a Hand" community outreach campaign, United Way of America and the National Football League have launched their first-ever Spanish-language effort.

WASHINGTON: As part of the organization's annual "Lend a Hand" community outreach campaign, United Way of America and the National Football League have launched their first-ever Spanish-language effort.

Alexandria, VA-based United Way worked with Edelman in Washington for media relations for the campaign, which includes pro bono TV, radio, and print PSAs, as well as Spanish- and English-language trading cards featuring Chicago Bears Mexican-American center Roberto Garza, according to Cynthia Round, EVP, brand leadership, United Way of America.

While United Way has "long been conscious of its Hispanic audience," in the organization's 33-year partnership with the NFL, "this is the first time we've done [an effort in] Spanish," said Tracey Holmes, director of the organization's NFL partnership.

The need was especially apparent now, Holmes explained, due to the growth of the segment.

TV ads created by New York-based Gotham will direct viewers to www.unitedway.org/espanol, a Spanish-language Web site which launched earlier this month.

"If we're going to have volunteerism spots in Spanish," added Holmes, "we need to have a Web site to respond to that."

While the majority of the site's pages highlight the kinds of volunteer opportunities and tips found on the United Way's general market Web pages, Round said the site also includes information tailored to the Hispanic American community.

The Hispanic effort will complement the United Way's general-market NFL "Lend a Hand" program, which relies on PSAs and trading cards featuring NFL players, including the Pittsburgh Steelers' Troy Polamalu, who were selected "for their long community service histories," according to Holmes.

Round said the initiative also includes a day of NFL team community service. For the United Way NFL Hometown Huddle, to be held nationwide on October 10, players will partner with United Way-sponsored groups to take part in neighborhood-specific projects ranging from delivering meals to assisting in playground renovations.

In Atlanta, Falcons players will do yoga with seniors and kids.

"That's one of the really unusual ones," Holmes said.

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