Junior golfers launch COVID-19 relief campaign
March 25, 2020
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
- March 25, 2020
Fighting a global pandemic is scary.
The positive: neighborhoods, cities, countries and people from different backgrounds and parts of the world are banding together in the fight against COVID-19.
Some of those leaders are junior golfers.
Yu Wen Lu and Eddie Zhang, both of Shanghai, China, and Junior Golf Tour of Asia players, decided to act through the AJGA’s Leadership Links program.
They are raising money and awareness for Direct Relief, a humanitarian aid organization in more than 80 countries. The organization is currently focused on providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to health care workers, making ICU medication and equipment more accessible and providing staffing and support to overwhelmed facilities.
“I started this donation because I wanted to help out in a crisis like this,” Lu said. “There is a supply shock as factories are shut down as mandated by the government. The best way I knew how to help was to directly donate money to get more supplies.”
Lu started with the goal to raise $1,000, but with the help of her friends and high school sharing her story through social media, she collected more than $3,000 to help Direct Relief.
Zhang said he felt compelled to help when he saw how people were suffering.
“The Leadership Links platform made it easy to start the fundraising process and I hope this money can help make some change, even if it is small, to the crisis in China as well as my fellow junior golfers who lack the financial resources to compete at a national level,” Zhang said.
Collectively through the fundraising efforts, a total of over $10,000 has been raised.
Since 2009, more than 3,177 total junior golfers have:
• Logged nearly 30,000 volunteer hours
• Raised nearly $3 million dollars
• Supported more than 2,500 charities
Currently, 46 AJGA total members are working on projects to support COVID-19 efforts.
The Leadership Links mission is to help juniors make a community impact. AJGA resources and tools make giving back to the community easy and fun.
To start, juniors select a charity and email Beth Dockter (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get started. A personalized website and marketing materials will be created to support fundraising goals.
Participants can choose how they want to be involved:
• Volunteer time
• Invite community donors for golf or social functions
• Or create something totally new
Proceeds are split between the junior’s charity and the AJGA’s Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program. The ACE Grant is a financial assistance program which ensures junior golfers play in top tournaments by covering entry fees and travel expenses for qualified national junior golf, high school state and USGA events.
In a time where so much is distancing and divisive, juniors like Lu and Zhang remind us to come together to support one another during difficult times.