For the winning Super Bowl team, the season's journey will end in victory in Miami. But the losing team will be seen as winners in Africa for a long time, thanks to a partnership between the NFL and World Vision. The incorrectly titled but perfectly good losing team's NFL-licensed apparel will bring joy to people living in extreme poverty in the coming months.[via Bible Belt Blogger]
Since 1994, World Vision has been accepting hundreds of official shirts and hats from the Super Bowl. Instead of being disposed of, they are shipped from the event site to World Vision's Gifts-in-Kind Distribution Center in Pittsburgh, PA. From Pittsburgh they join shipments of other goods requested by World Vision field staff and are then distributed to children and families living in extreme poverty. Many of these recipients have never owned a new shirt in their lives.
World Vision also receives the merchandise of other team that advance and win through the playoffs. Shirts are produced with the logos of all playoff teams. When teams are eliminated, those shirts are not salable and they become available for donation and use outside the United States.
Currently, World Vision is permitted to distribute these products in 25 African countries (all of which already receive other goods through World Vision's Gifts-in-Kind delivery and distribution system). There are also four Eastern European countries in which World Vision distributes on a limited basis In recent years, donations have gone to Sierra Leone, Niger, and Uganda.