Many professional athletes use their platform to help support their communities, but few have taken more personal initiative than Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long to make the world a better place, both at home and abroad.
Through his charitable Chris Long Foundation, the two-time-[word redacted due to copyright infringement but sounds like Superb Owl] champion has raised funds for clean water initiatives in East Africa, as well as support for military veterans and programs that help combat homelessness in St. Louis.
During the 2017 NFL season, the Pledge 10 for Tomorrow campaign raised well over a million dollars to support underfunded schools in St. Louis, Boston, and Philadelphia, the three cities where Long has played during his ten-year career. Many celebrities are happy to use their personal clout to raise money for their favorite causes, but Long isn’t your average celebrity-athlete. As a part of the campaign, Long personally donated his entire NFL salary last season.
This year, Long has continued his commitment to programs that focus on educational opportunities in less fortunate communities. Studies have shown that kids who aren’t reading at grade level by fourth grade are less likely to succeed academically in the long term, so the First Quarter for Education fund will bring books, educators, and other literacy resources to areas that most need assistance to get kids started reading and on the right track. Long is hoping that the initiative can raise enough money to donate at least seventy-five-thousand books in Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. What’s more, he’s doing his part again this year, giving roughly $600,000 personally, as well as getting his teammates, like defensive end Fletcher Cox, to chip in as well.
Basically, winning is awesome, but it’s even better when you can use those victories to help others win, too.