Football fans might be disappointed on Sunday when the season ends and the NFL goes on hiatus for seven months. But for communities that host pro football teams, the action doesn’t stop with the final whistle.
This year, programs coordinated by the NFL and the NY/NJ Super Bowl host committee pumped $11 million into afterschool programs. Their donations, managed through the Snowflake Youth Foundation, have financed new turf for fields, new floors for gyms, and other improvements that make after school youth programs possible. Organizers launched fifty different projects throughout the region, including many that are rebuilding and repairing facilities damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
“We know that Super Bowl XLVIII will thrill the thousands of fans watching in MetLife Stadium, but we want to ensure that the game impacts many more people in the surrounding communities,” Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner, said when announcing the program last year.
Just like the coin toss, philanthropy efforts are a Super Bowl tradition. Here are some of the people who win, thanks to the efforts of the NFL.
- Heads Up Football: Launched last year by USA football with NFL support to address player health and safety issues in youth and high school football, this program helps educate and certify coaches, raises awareness of the dangers of concussions, and teaches proper tackling techniques that keeps players safe.
- NFL PLAY 60: This program is aimed at tackling childhood obesity by encouraging kids to be active for 60 minutes each day. Launched in 2007, the NFL has so far given $200 million through the campaign.
- Salute to Service: In 32 games this season, for each point scored, the NFL Foundation donated $100 each to the USO, Pat Tillman Foundation, and the Wounded Warrior Project. This year, the NFL donated $455,700 to these organizations. In addition, the NFL donates tickets to military families for the Pro Bowl game and regularly honors them at games.
- Crucial Catch: This program seeks to promote regular breast cancer screenings for women. The pink apparel worn by players and coaches is auctioned off at the end of the month, with the proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society’s Community Health Advocates National Grants for Empowerment program, which provides outreach and breast cancer screenings to women in under-served communities.
- Pro Bowl Community Grant:Every year, the Pro Bowl is held in Hawaii and the NFL gives grants to local non-profits. This year, the NFL Foundation is awarding a combined $100,000 to 40 non-profits.
- Youth football Camp Grant: The NFL Foundation financially backs current and former NFL players and coaches who host non-contact youth football camps in the summer.
- Grassroots Grant: Since 1998, the NFL has given $35 million to 273 projects in 70 cities that help non-profit, neighborhood-based organizations to improve the quality, safety, and accessibility of local football fields.
- Foundation Grants: Many NFL players and coaches have their own foundations and philanthropies, and the NFL helps them out by providing financing.