Everton have officially nominated the Liverpool-based charity Liverpool Unites, which campaigns to improve the lives of young people on Merseyside by inspiring them to break the cycle of crime and poverty, as its charitable partner for 2009/10.
To help officially launch the new partnership, Everton has teamed up with retail partner Kitbag Limited to introduce the special, limited edition Everton shirt designed to promote the association between the Club, the charity and its objectives.
The Liverpool Unites campaign was set up in response to the tragic murder of eleven-year-old Evertonian Rhys Jones who was shot in August 2007 and aims to convey to the wider world that Liverpool is a city that cares, and that its local population will not tolerate gun and knife crime.
Everton are aiming to raise in excess of £100,000 for Liverpool Unites before the end of the season. After reaching its initial goal of raising £100,000 for the Rhys Jones Memorial Fund, Liverpool Unites continues to raise money for this and other local charities and community groups across Merseyside that aim to positively engage children and young people, giving them hope and ambition to create a brighter future for themselves.
It has adopted a purple ribbon logo to show the unity between the red and blue sides of Liverpool on this issue.
Everton Chief Executive Robert Elstone said: "The Liverpool Unites charity has done a fantastic job in our local community since it was launched. It has proved to be important for the people of Liverpool and it made perfect sense to us at Everton to link in our fundraising activity.
Everton and Kitbag hope to raise well in excess of £100,000 between now and the end of the season and we look forward to working with Liverpool Unites alongside our own Everton Foundation to see the money invested in the right type of programmes that will benefit our community."
Tom Woolley from Liverpool Unites said: "Our ethos is that if people in our community can work together, we can help vulnerable children escape a future threatened with gun and knife crime. This is a fantastic contribution from Everton and Kitbag, and we are proud to have this historic shirt associated with our charity and hope that its launch will both re-enforce our message to young people and raise the funds needed to help kids in our city."
The limited edition shirt, which will be individually boxed, numbered and presented with a certificate of authenticity, will be unveiled at an exclusive black tie dinner to be held in Club Everton at Goodison Park on Thursday, 29 October, 2009.
Ray Evans, MD of Kitbag added: "We are going to bring all our expertise and contacts to support this worthy initiative and raise much needed funds to assist the charity achieve its goals. The dinner will be a fantastic occasion and will be as unique as the shirt itself."
Special Everton guests including members of the first team squad and former players will join over 200 guests to celebrate the official launch of the Club's third kit for the 2009/10 campaign.
Kitbag, who run the successful Everton retail business, will provide money-can't-buy prizes throughout the evening from their portfolio of football partners such as Champions League winners Barcelona and Real Madrid.
The first release of the limited edition shirt will be Friday 30th October and the shirt will only be available in the official Everton retail outlets and at the online Everton shop.