ROCK ISLAND, IL, USA - Joining a wave of WTA stars stepping up with charitable initiatives amid the global coronavirus pandemic, Madison Keys has announced the launch of a new relief initiative called Kindness In Crisis.
Earlier this year, Keys announced the relaunch of Fearlessly Girl USA into Kindness Wins, a platform that brings together her fellow athletes as “champions” in a “collaborative engine for kindness.” Now, she’s using her new platform to help meet the needs of people who are struggling financially during the pandemic.
“At a time when many of us are experiencing fear and isolation, I wanted to step up and offer my help, even if it was just a small gesture,” Keys said in a statement. “Over the past week, that idea has spread to include awarding Visa gift cards to individuals who are struggling, and alongside my fellow professional athletes, raising funds for COVID-19 relief, by way of our Kindness in Crisis auction.”
Through Kindness Wins, Keys will be donating $100 Visa gift cards to 20 people who are struggling financially as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. People are encouraged to reach out - or nominate someone they know - and describe their situation and how the gift cards can help.
Feeling really inspired by acts of kindness on social media during this tough time so @KindnessWinsFnd & I are giving away 20 $100 Visa gift cards. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with why someone you know is in need & we’ll randomly choose 20 recipients by end of day Friday 3/20 ❤️— Madison Keys (@Madison_Keys) March 18, 2020
Right now, unfortunately, we can only send these gift cards to recipients in the USA, but we are looking into more ways we can help those in need here in the USA and around the world.— Madison Keys (@Madison_Keys) March 18, 2020
WTA Charities has also announced that it will be matching Keys’ donation, bringing the total of gift cards up to 40 for those in need.
“I am thrilled that WTA Charities is matching the donations that we are collecting through our Kindness Wins initiatives, increasing our impact during this difficult time,” Keys said. “Working together to support one another is exactly what we need right now.”
Thank you so much to @WTA Charities for matching our initiative so we can give 40 $100 Visa gift cards to those in need. We received a lot of submissions & are grateful we can help even more now. We’re also looking into more ways to help so keep following @KindnessWinsFnd. 💜 https://t.co/eXdbGDyJpK— Madison Keys (@Madison_Keys) March 23, 2020
But that’s not the only way that Kindness Wins is mobilizing during the global pandemic, with the launch of an online auction for professional athletes to support relief needs in their community. ‘Kindness in Crisis’ will allow athletes to auction off signed memorabilia to raise funds for organizations bringing relief in their communities.
Items currently up for auction from the 2017 US Open finalist include a pair of Nike sneakers, a white Nike top, and a match-used tennis racquet - all of which will directly benefit No Kid Hungry. American Red Cross, Feeding America and the United Way are among the other organizations benefited in the auction.
Check out the #KindnessInCrisis auction and bid on some cool items signed by me and other athletes: https://t.co/ufSL1yxVHh— Madison Keys (@Madison_Keys) March 23, 2020
100% of the proceeds go to COVID-19 relief orgs 🙏🏽 @KindnessWinsFnd pic.twitter.com/nxccRnnAn3
Keys is joined by two-time U.S. Olympic medalist/alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin, U.S.Olympic medalist/Nordic skier Jessie Diggins, and other elite athletes participating in the auction.
“With the coronavirus causing so much fear, anxiety, social distancing and isolation, it’s more important now than ever that we reach out to each other to provide meaningful connection and support,” Keys said.
“I’m excited to have fellow athletes join me on the Kindness In Crisis efforts – we’re all truly on the same team.”
Fans of the WTA and its charitable efforts can learn more by visiting www.wtatennis.com/wta-charities.