As football fans count down the final days until the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks face off in Super Bowl XLVIII, NationSwell is pitting the powerhouse teams against each other to find out which is the most philanthropic. Read on for just a small sampling of the many community programs each franchise supports.
Denver Broncos Champions in the Community Programs
Throughout the year, the Denver Broncos take part in a wide range of programs that fall under a dozen philanthropic categories, all of which strive to improve the lives of Coloradans. These charitable efforts range from hosting Drive for Life, the Broncos annual community blood drive in partnership with Bonfils Blood Center; and funding the Denver Broncos Youth Center at The Crossing Facility at the Denver Rescue Mission; to the Hometown Huddle, a league-wide community service day spearheaded by the Broncos and Mile High United Ways. In 2012, the Broncos also started the “Be a Champion in the Community Week”, an annual roster-wide community service effort in which team members work alongside citizens at various charitable events.
The Denver Broncos Boys and Girls Club
The Denver Broncos opened their namesake Boys and Girls Club in Northeast Denver in August 2003. In 2008, the club was expanded with the addition of the Darrent Williams Memorial Teen Center. For a minimum of 10 years, the Denver Broncos committed to funding the operating budget of the center — a $2.4 million investment. The club’s membership has reached capacity, with over 1,400 members, and an average nightly attendance of more than 200 kids. The Broncos players consistently visit and host programs at their Boys and Girls Club, as well as the 13 other branches throughout the Denver metro area.
The PeyBack Foundation / Omaha Peysback Campaign
Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning started his personal charity, the Peyback Foundation, in 1999 to support disadvantaged youth through programs that provide leadership and growth opportunities. To date, the PeyBack Foundation has donated more than $6.5 million to youth organizations in Indiana, Tennessee, Louisiana and Colorado. During the playoffs, a group of companies led by the Omaha Chamber of Commerce, joined together to donate $800 to the PeyBack Foundation every time the standout quarterback yelled his now-famous prompt “Omaha!” before the snap. In the AFC Championship game, Manning yelled the magic word 31 times, raising $24,800. For the Super Bowl, this collective (now 15 businesses strong) is nearly doubling their efforts, promising $1,500 per “Omaha!” It’s safe to say that we’ll be hearing that word quite a few times on Sunday.
Seattle Seahawks Charitable Foundation
The Seattle Seahawks Charitable Foundation was created in 1995 to promote the social, emotional, intellectual, and physical health of the area’s youth by enhancing opportunities to participate in sports and fitness. The SSCF hosts various NFL Charities programs throughout the year, such as Hometown Huddle and PLAY 60 Challenge, which encourages kids to play for 60 minutes a day. In fall 2004, the SSCF unveiled the Spirit of 12 Partners Program, a collaboration between the franchise, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and local youth service organizations. At each home game, representatives from one of these organizations raise funds by selling the Seahawks Gameday Magazine to fans, keeping 100 percent of the proceeds. The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation then matches that amount. In 2012, more than $250,000 was raised through the Spirit of 12 Partners Program, and more than $2 million has been raised overall since 2004.
A Better Seattle / A Better LA
Head Coach Pete Carroll started A Better Seattle as a community initiative to reduce youth gang violence by working with local partner organizations — the YMCA of Greater Seattle and the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative — to create opportunities for at-risk youth to take control of their lives. The organization tries to build a culture of peace and connect these youths to community programs that can help them through trained outreach teams, in hopes of creating a safer overall environment. Carroll also started A Better LA in 2003, a sister organization that aims to reduce gang violence in inner-city Los Angeles by empowering change from within the community.
Fam 1st Family Foundation
The Fam 1st Family Foundation was launched by Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch in partnership with Joshua Johnson, quarterback of the Cincinnati Bengals, in 2011. This organization is dedicated to empowering underprivileged youth by mentoring them on the importance of education, literacy and self-esteem. The foundation plans to open a youth center in Oakland, Calif., where Lynch and Johnson are from, which will host workshops for vulnerable communities on literacy, athletic and vocational training, after school tutoring and more.
So, you tell us: which Super Bowl team wins the title for most philanthropic?