"I’m supporting Tackle Kids Cancer because I want to help kids and families who are going through very tough times. Ultimately, I want to help these kids be able to get back home healthy, so they can get back to being a kid. I’m not a doctor, but I can raise money and awareness for these kids, and that’s something I’m going to try to do to the best of my ability."
"22Q is a rare disorder that my niece was diagnosed with when she was very young. I have seen the difficulties that she has had to go through and the fact that she does it all with a smile on her face and a happy, positive attitude is really amazing. By representing 22Q, I want to show support for my brother and his girlfriend, to say thank you, for the way they were able to raise my niece, despite having this rare disorder. I am representing 22Q to give back to my niece and let her know that I am always thinking about her, that I love her and care about her so much. When I was in college and heard about this NFL initiative, this was the first thing that came to my mind, when I thought about which cause I would choose if I was given the opportunity to participate."
"The fight against Coats disease is a very personal one for me. My godson was diagnosed with Coats disease as a baby and has already had to endure multiple surgeries to try to correct his vision. Seeing first hand how this disease has affected him and his family really opened my eyes to the importance of finding a cause and a cure for this rare eye condition. Many pediatricians and eye care specialist aren’t able to diagnose Coats disease in children due to the lack of research and funding. This has prompted me to try and bring awareness to this very special cause. The fight against Coats disease empowers me to use my sight for good. With all that’s happening in the world today it’s easy to take for granted things like having full vision."
"My little cousin has autism and I have personally seen the affects that it has had on his life, so I want to bring more awareness to the cause."
"I am representing my foundation because I want to help bridge the gap between high school and college for young students in my hometown area. I don't want a student who worked hard and displayed great character and humility all throughout K-12 years to still not be able to further their education due to not being able to afford it."
"I take a lot of pride in supporting Special Olympics, which provides programming through sports for people with intellectual disabilities. It is such a great opportunity for people that feel held back in life, who may sometimes count themselves out of certain things, to have the opportunity to go out, have fun and play sports. Special Olympics makes individuals feel accepted and athletic like the athletes they get to watch on TV or look up to. It is such a great thing that Special Olympics athletes know that nothing can hold them back and they can do whatever they put their mind to."
"My wife and I chose to get involved in America Needs You; it is a charity that helps first generation low- income students from the Newark area to get through college and secure a job right after graduation. We felt this was an important cause to give back to in our local community because there are many kids out there who have a lot of talent, but just do not have any sort of direction. America Needs You pairs these students up with professional working mentors from New York City to hold their hand through the entire process. Everything from curriculum selection to interview prep, what to wear, and how to speak. We have been a part of it for years and we really enjoy being involved."
"Compassion International is a Christian organization that spreads the ministry throughout the world, while helping to alleviate poverty in the name of Christ. They support local churches and it is based on helping children through a sponsorship-based program in which an individual person can sponsor a child. In other parts of the world, children are viewed as a burden, so they are given the last of everything – the sponsorship provides an education, after-school programs, food, and clothing for those in the malnourished parts of the world. My wife and I will focus our efforts in Uganda, Burkina Faso and Thailand."
"To show support for my hometown through the help of my foundation. The Jack Rabbit Foundation’s mission is to provide support to surviving U.S. Military children and spouses who have lost a loved one as a result of a deployment or a disabled parent or spouse who was injured as a result of a deployment."
"The Michael Thomas Dreambuilder’s Foundation helps to raise awareness, not only for the city that I’m currently in, but back home in Houston, for social justice. I strive to help create self-awareness for the youth in the community where I grew up, to know who they are and to help further their education. I offer unique opportunities through my youth camps with financial literacy, SAT/ACT prep, and I also raise funds to give out scholarships. I gave out one scholarship this year and looking to give a full scholarship next year."
"The programming that the Boys and Girls Club provide for their kids and teens has been a really rewarding experience for both myself and the children I work with. It has allowed me the opportunity to make an impact in the lives of these young people, through mentoring them and providing them with someone to look up to. Boys and Girls Club promotes the development of skills for children to reach their full potential and grow up to be positive impactful men and women."
"I am supporting breast cancer awareness because my grandmother beat it twice, my aunt is currently battling breast cancer, I lost one of my aunts to breast cancer as well as my great grandmother."
"My father had diabetes and he passed away in 2011 because of complications with his diabetes. It is a cause that’s dear to me and I know he’d be proud of me for supporting this cause.”
"Tackle MS with Alex Tanney was started by my wife and I just this past year because my sister-in-law was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. For the past seven years, I’ve seen the impact and effect that it has had on her, so were inspired to start this foundation and give back. We just recently hosted our first event this past summer and it was a huge success where we raised $30k to donate to MS research. We are so passionate about this and I’m looking forward to all the things we are going to do in the upcoming years."
"YCAP Chattanooga is a program for kids who are referred to through the juvenile court system or school system. The children come to the YMCA after school to have a good meal, receive mentorships, tutoring and support from the volunteers in the program. I got involved during my sophomore year in college as a volunteer and I really fell in love with the program."
"The program was created to aid in the development of young defensive backs while giving them the knowledge and preparation to succeed at the next level of competition. Not only will these young athletes be trained by a current NFL player, they also have the opportunity to indulge in a strict SAT prep program that prepares them to conquer the test!"
"Uplifting Athletes raises money as well as empowers people to take action against rare diseases – when I was at Syracuse, our long-snapper Sam Rodgers, started Uplifting Athletes for former Syracuse punter Rob Long, who had brain cancer in 2010 and is seven years cancer-free. Through the college sports platform, we raise money for these rare diseases."
"In 2013, I started the Make The World Better Foundation, where we believe that community-based redevelopment projects have the ability to strengthen neighborhoods. I wanted to give back to the community, so I knew doing something that I love that involved playgrounds would be a great place to start. Since 2013, we have constructed three playgrounds so far – Waterloo playground, Smith playground and Ralph Brooks Park. At the end of each project, you not only have a beautiful playground, but a more connected community too!"
"As a musician, I play the cello and tuba, I am passionate about helping to build and sustain music programs in schools – that is what Save The Music Foundation strives to do. The Foundation provides donations and funding to keep music programs afloat in schools instead of having them cut and eliminated."
"I lost my mother in high school to pancreatic cancer. I was involved with the Cleveland Chapter for Pancreatic Awareness and met so many people affected by pancreatic cancer. It was inspiring to meet survivors and those that are living and fighting this disease."
"My wife and I started the State Of Hope Foundation, which provides disadvantaged children in the State College area with experiences that enrich their lives, build confidence and instill hope. The children we support come from broken homes, single parents, and other less fortunate situations, so we try to provide positive life experiences for them that they may not have otherwise. I wanted to give back to a community that gave me so much support throughout my career – from growing up in the area and then as a student athlete at Penn State – I am thankful for the opportunity to bring it close to home and make a positive impact on my community."