One moment in a life can cause others to do extraordinary things.
After Matt Galland’s junior year of high school football, he received tragic news about a defensive back from a local high school that was seriously injured in a game. He found out the injured player, Kory Wiita, suffered a vertebrae injury and was paralyzed.
Although the players didn’t know each other, Galland felt like something needed to be done. He thought about how Wiita’s life would change, how his family would pay all the medical costs, and how they would adjust to a new lifestyle.
“Events like that really make you take a step back and think about how precious life can be,” Galland says.
Galland decided to use his football skills and passion to help Wiita and players like him by starting Rush for a Cause. This foundation is responsible for helping tragically and severely injured high school athletes.
Galland came up with Rush for a Cause in order to help provide community and financial support for seriously injured high school athletes. His campaign involves collecting donations from people and acquiring corporate sponsorships.
Rush for a Cause has received much support from various organizations and business owners including the College Football Hall of Fame. Galland has also created portfolios, car magnets, and even wristbands to help raise more awareness.
“This is a great opportunity to have an impact on the lives of people that need help,” Galland says. “This also goes beyond football and will help other athletes such as rugby, field hockey, and even pole vaulting.”
In addition to being featured on radio stations, he is doing public speaking appearances all while going to school and participating in numerous sports other than football. Since an athlete in any sport that qualifies can benefit from Rush for a Cause, Matt welcomes athletes in all sports to become involved. His cause is not limited to strictly football players. Fundraising is welcome from athletes at all levels in all sports.
Galland is 17 years old and considers his website a valuable tool in helping grow his organization. He built the website using Intuit Websites and says he loves how user-friendly it was to set up and make changes.
“What started out as a simple five-page website has since been upgraded to help increase exposure,” he says.
With help from his family, he is hoping to expand Rush for a Cause nationally and get more high schools involved. He is also working on making people aware of the potential for injuries as well as educating teams and athletes on prevention. His next step is to get national and professional teams involved.
“Running this organization has been an eye opener,” he says. “Getting the positive feedback, building relationships, and helping others has definitely made this journey worth the time and energy.”
Matt himself has been successful in obtaining $25,000 in pledges and donations. He set a personal goal of $20,000 for himself and exceeded that goal this year.