The New York Jets announced today that players, coaches, and ownership are committing a total of $800,000 to The New York Foundling and four other non-profit social justice organizations that aim to combat social inequality and reduce barriers to opportunity. As part of that total, New York Jets players and coaches have committed $200,000, which the organization will match, in addition to a $250,000 donation from New York Jets Chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson. Additional funds were donated by the New York Jets Foundation and the NFL Foundation’s Player Matching Grant.
The New York Foundling, alongside The Black Alliance for Just Immigration, JustLeadershipUSA, Breakthrough New York and The Legal Aid Society’s Decarceration Project will receive $160,000 grants to support programs focused on education, community/police relations, criminal justice reform, or other initiatives including reducing poverty, racial equality and workforce development. For The Foundling, funds will go to support its Mott Haven Academy, a first of its kind charter school based in the Bronx with two-thirds of its student body consisting of children actively in the child welfare system. A select group of kids from the school received an early peek at the team’s generosity and commitment to community earlier this week when 13 players –led by linebacker Brandon Copeland, and including Avery Williamson, Dieugot Joseph, Jordan Leggett, Isaiah Crowell, Jonotthan Harrison – treated 20 Mott Haven students to a pizza dinner followed by a Target shopping spree to spread some holiday cheer just in time for Christmas (click here to view photos).
“We are very excited that as part of their commitment to education, the New York Jets organization has chosen The Foundling and Mott Haven Academy for this grant,” said Bill Baccaglini, President & CEO of The Foundling. “Because of the challenges they’ve faced, the educational journeys of these young scholars are not often linear. This support will help us continue the necessary work of helping them to advance and be successful in their educational paths.”
“I am extremely proud of our team for their commitment to empowering our communities through their donations and participation in outreach programs,” said New York Jets Chairman & CEO Christopher Johnson. “While it was a collective effort within the organization to make this donation possible, the players desire to make a difference fueled this endeavor. We are excited to help position these five organizations to continue their work in our communities.”
“Inadequate access to resources for education, poverty reduction, or racial equality has effected every member of our locker room,” said Kelvin Beachum. “From the communities we came from, to the one we now call home – it is abundantly clear that these organizations are not only needed but are causing direct change in the fight against social inequality.”
To view a video about the New York Jets Social Justice program, please click here.