The entire City of Philadelphia partied over the Philadelphia Eagles winning the National Football Conference Championship. Since the Philadelphia Eagles have never won a Super Bowl it is an exciting opportunity for the team, the coaches and the fans. It is just fun to be a part of the Philadelphia sports scene on days like this. The fans in Philadelphia are passionate about their sports teams which makes events like this great fun.
I want to congratulate the Philadelphia Eagles’ organization for an amazing year. From the executive office to the coaches and to all the players, this has been a year of resilience. Many key players were hurt and other players stepped up to fill the gaps resulting in huge success this season. I do admire that kind of team accomplishment and sense of overcoming obstacles.
But the Eagles do more than play football.
Not as well known about the Eagles is their consistent commitment to the Philadelphia community and to children throughout the Greater Philadelphia region. Many players are involved in charity organizations and events during the entire year. Player after player makes special appearances to help many valuable causes in Philadelphia.
So, I would like to acknowledge several special causes sponsored by the Eagles’ players and organization. For example, the Eagles Care program provides skills training and capacity-building services for a handful of local nonprofits every year. (The 2016-2017 class includes Dignity Housing, Philadelphia Wooden Boat Factory and Ryan’s Case for Smiles.)
Defensive end’s Chris Long’s Foundation is teaming up with Reach Higher and Better Make Room asking high school students to consider higher education. He also has donated part of his season’s salary to Summer Search which helps low-income teenagers prepare for and apply to college.
Nick Foles, Jordan Hicks and Trey Burton are raising money to fight childhood sexual abuse. The quarterback, linebacker and tight-end are publicly supporting Philadelphia Children’s Alliance, a nonprofit that coordinates victim support services, with its #Give5toPCA initiative. The players donated a collective $50,000 and issued a call to action for Philadelphians both to give their own donations of $5 and to learn more about the scale of the issue: According to PCA, one-in-10 U.S. kids are sexually abused.
The Eagles Autism Challenge launched its Matching Gift Drive. The funding drive for autism research was meant to match every donation up to $25,000 through kickoff at this Sunday’s game, thanks to an unnamed season ticket holder. But it’s already complete, in less than a day.
Lane Johnson is donating the proceeds of his “underdog” t-shirts to Philadelphia schools. The right tackle made t-shirts mocking the Eagles’ perceived underdog status in last week’s playoff game and is subsequently donating all proceeds from sales to the Fund for the School District of Philadelphia.
This list of charitable efforts by the Philadelphia Eagles and their players is far from complete. Other players have launched philanthropic initiatives that have helped many children’s causes regionally and nationally.
We are proud of their effort on the field of play, but we also are humbled and blessed by their generosity and compassion in using their status and resources to help those in need. It just makes our sports organizations and players that much more appreciated by their fans.
Gerry Vassar, President/CEO