AFL players have donated more than $200,000 to their official charity Ladder to help reduce youth homelessness in Australia.
To coincide with Homelessness Week, Mitch Wallis, Billy Longer and Sam Docherty handed over a cheque for $217,8000 to Ladder CEO Elisabeth Tuckey on behalf of the entire AFL male playing group.
Every AFL player gives $25 from every match fee to Ladder as part of the AFL Players Care program. Ladder was founded by AFL players and they continue to support the organisation as staff, volunteers, advocates and mentors.
Western Bulldogs’ Mitch Wallis is a strong supporter and has witnessed firsthand some of the challenges young homeless people face.
“Through being involved with Ladder, I’ve seen the positive impact that Ladder’s programs and services have on the development of young homeless people, so it’s crucial that we, as a playing group, continue to support the outstanding work the entire national Ladder team does,” he said.
“Each night, more than 44,000 young Australian people are homeless — that’s alarmingly enough to fill the Sydney Cricket Ground — so we have a lot of work to do to ensure this number decreases over time.”
Ladder CEO Elisabeth Tuckey praised AFL players, saying it was a significant contribution that would ensure that young people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness received the support they needed.
“These vital funds go towards our programs that support young people affected by homelessness. Across Australia we are changing the lives of hundreds of young people by creating employment and education opportunities, improving their health and wellbeing, matching them to mentors and ensuring they have the skills to live fulfilling and positive lives,” she said.
In line with the donation announcement today and to raise awareness of Homelessness Week, the AFL Players’ Association has released a video series demonstrating the outstanding work that AFL players do with Ladder.
The videos feature Collingwood young gun Darcy Moore, North Melbourne’s Trent Dumont and AFLW Western Bulldogs player Ange Gogos and will be released on AFLPlayers.com.au this week.