Croatia's national team stars are contributing to the success of the Vareno Srce (fiery heart) foundation, which supports projects for children.
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On account of their high media visibility, the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) and the national team players are often approached by individuals and non-profit organisations for donations.
So, the Vatreno Srce (fiery heart) foundation was founded a decade ago to take care of all these requests. It is currently managed by the acting head coach, team captain and medical staff of the men’s national team.
In 2018, the foundation chose to support two important causes: the Zagreb children’s hospital and Korak u Život (A step into life), a charity that helps youngsters raised in children’s homes to make the transition into the higher education system.
The foundation held a benefit event attended by all players and team staff and organised a charity call centre, with star players picking up the phones to talk to members of the public. The HNS covered some of the overheads of the benefit, and made a donation by purchasing tickets. The event was broadcast live on television, raising awareness of the two causes even further.
In other news, last autumn, the HNS celebrated World Heart Day, with activities for staff and the public, and Grassroots Week, with activities for children. Croatia’s UEFA Nations League matches provided ample opportunities for other socially responsible activities – the HNS supported the Fare #FootballPeople action weeks at domestic matches in October, while November’s showdown with Spain was followed on-site by blind fans using audio-descriptive commentary.
This article originally appeared in UEFA Direct 182