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Nicaragua Real Estateuper Bowl Upsets Brings Donations to Nicaragua - February 6th 2008

Where does NFL clothing proclaiming a Patriots championship go? In this case, to the needy in Nicaragua

Plaxico Burress' dramatic Super Bowl-winning touchdown catch not only determined the New York Giants would don official NFL T-shirts and caps proclaiming them World Champions but also that needy children and adults in Nicaragua would be wearing New England Patriots apparel next week.

The 200 or so white T-shirts and caps incorrectly touting the Patriots as world champions -- officially licensed Reebok apparel that Tom Brady and company would have worn in postgame festivities had they won -- will be distributed to the impoverished in Nicaragua by the Christian humanitarian organization World Vision.

Shipped from the Super Bowl in Phoenix, the XL or larger apparel arrived yesterday afternoon at World Vision's Gifts-in-Kind distribution center in Sewickley, where it will be sorted and sent to Nicaragua.

Of course, had the Patriots prevailed, needy Nicaraguans would be wearing Giants apparel.

"Until that Eli Manning touchdown pass with 35 seconds, we didn't know which shirts we were going to be giving out," World Vision spokeswoman Anne Duffy said as she waited at the Sewickley warehouse for the arrival of the FedEx truck with the apparel.

In the coming weeks and months, millions of dollars worth of officially licensed Patriots championship gear donated by Dick's Sporting Goods and the Sports Authority likewise will be distributed by World Vision to impoverished people in Nicaragua, Romania and other countries, Duffy said.

Since 1994, World Vision has accepted donations of officially licensed but unsalable, incorrectly titled merchandise of the losers of playoff and Super Bowl games from the NFL and its retailing partners. Last year, the combined value of goods donated by the NFL, Dick's Sporting Goods, the Sports Authority and Reebok was approximately $2.5 million.

After last year's Super Bowl game, a significant portion of the Chicago Bears apparel was distributed in Zambia in southern Africa. Other countries receiving Bears shirts included Chad, Chile, Bolivia, Democratic Republic of Congo, El Salvador, Romania and Zimbabwe.

As for those who receive the clothing, the misprinting doesn't matter in the least.

"Oftentimes, the people who receive NFL gear aren't familiar with American football," Duffy said.

"Especially in the African countries, they have no idea what the Super Bowl is," added Jeff Fields, senior director of World Vision corporate relations. "They're just so thankful to get a new piece of quality clothing, something that's come all the way across the world. It really is life-changing."

At the Super Bowl stadium and during every part of the shipping process, security of the misprinted merchandise is extremely tight to prevent an apparel version of the "Dewey Defeats Truman" headline from getting into the hands of collectors.

"We at World Vision take great, great care in ensuring that they don't end up on eBay," Duffy said, noting the merchandise is closely tracked and monitored until it is distributed.

The NFL gear is but a part of World Vision's Gifts-in-Kind program through which first-quality, excess inventory donated by companies is distributed to millions of people in need in 100 countries. In the past five years, it has placed $1.1 billion of donated goods from major corporations, such as clothing, shoes, medical supplies, books, school supplies, personal care items, sporting goods and building materials.


Source: Post Gazette   

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