After months of philanthropic work to support hungry children in the UK, Marcus Rashford has just announced he will be joining forced with Burberry on a new charity initiative to support young people around the world.
As part of the new initiative the British fashion house will back charities supporting the youth of today globally, working to empower voices in programmes that range from education to financing creative artists, as well as helping entrepreneurs tackle some of the world’s most significant challenges.
It is a perfect fit for Rashford, who—at just 23—has used his influence to change the lives of millions of children in need. His work to end child food poverty in the UK this year, including his recent campaign to extend free school meals during the holidays, has already raised over £20 million ($25.8 million) and earned him an MBE.
Now, to support Burberry’s harmonious efforts, the Manchester United forward has written an open letter to his 10-year-old self, asking him to hold onto his hopes and dreams.
“I encourage you to dream, because sometimes dreams are all you will have. I encourage you to lay your head on the pillow and close your eyes tight and think of better days to come, because luckily for us, our dreams have come true,” he writes.
“Would I be the Marcus Rashford you see stood in front of you today if it wasn’t for the hardship and struggle? Simple answer? No. You should never be ashamed to ask for help. Take pride in knowing that your struggle will play the biggest role in your purpose. Never drop your head in shame.”
The charities supported by the new initiative include London Youth; which supports a network of over 600 community youth organisations and creates thousands of engaging opportunities for young people each year, Norbrook Youth Club and Woodhouse Park Lifestyle Centre; youth centres that played a pivotal role in Rashford’s childhood, and Wide Rainbow; an NYC-based non-profit which provides access to the arts and arts education in neighbourhoods across the US.
To further its reach, Burberry is also partnering with the International Youth Foundation to contribute to the Global Youth Resiliency Fund, which enables young entrepreneurs and community leaders to develop solutions to social challenges.