When supporters of the Portland Timbers, organized by the 107ist Trust and Timbers Army, announced in 2011 that they were launching a new charity called Operation Pitch Invasion to support the growth of the game at the grassroots level in Portland, Pitch Invasion’s interest was piqued by more than just the Doppelgänger.
Since its launch in 2007, a central interest of Pitch Invasion’s has been a concern with how supporters of the game engage in and build the sport in their local communities in positive and meaningful ways. To do more than consume the game, by contributing to its grassroots growth.
As Shawn Levy’s An Insider’s History to OPI explains, Operation Pitch Invasion in Portland exemplifies those values, coming out of a desire held by the Timbers’ strongest supporters to do more than just cheer on gameday as their team moved up to Major League Soccer:
About three years ago, when it became evident that Major League Soccer in Portland was likely and that the Timbers Army would become a much bigger entity than anyone imagined, those of us who worked on the day-to-day business of the Timbers Army got together to ponder the question of what we might do with all the positive power, energy, communitarianism and goodwill that a massive Timbers Army would comprise.
One way to give back to the community, it was concluded, was to help build the sport literally from the grassroots: building safe pitches for Portland’s kids to grow up playing the game on. As Levy explains:
Operation Pitch Invasion is the fruition of that vision: the use of Timbers Army fundraising, sweat equity and deal-making to give back to the community in the form of quality places to play the game. And we want you involved.
Operation Pitch Invasion is a means for anyone who cares about the community in which they live to give back by building and maintaining for soccer fields where all of us, our children and our grandchildren can play the game we love. And where, we hope, future Timbers will learn the game — from current and past Timbers and members of the Timbers Army.
Given the tie-in both symbolically and philosophically, PI could think of no better way to launch its new store and new scarf than by supporting OPI in the process. So we recently contacted the OPI board, and agreed an idea to raise funds for their charitable efforts.
To help kickstart Operation Pitch Invasion’s 2012 fundraising, $10 from every scarf ordered this week (through Monday, January 23rd) will be donated to OPI – and it just so happens, the scarf’s color scheme is rather fitting for fans of the Portland Timbers.
Help grow grassroots soccer, one pitch at a time.
– Tom Dunmore
Founder, Pitch Invasion