10 Ways This Year's Super Bowl Teams Have Given Back To Their Communities

They're both winners here.

This Sunday, reigning Super Bowl champions the New England Patriots will take on the Philadelphia Eagles at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis for Super Bowl LII. No matter which team ultimately takes home the trophy, both are winners when it comes to giving back to their communities.


Both the Patriots and the Eagles participate in charity events and donate their time and money each year, either as a team or individually. From promoting education and literacy, to building homes and delivering meals to those in need, to simply bringing a smile to a child's face at the holidays, these football players have proved they're champions off the field as well as on it.

Below are just 10 examples of the teams' generosity. You can find out even more by visiting their Community pages here and here.

1. Chris Long donates his entire salary to education.

Following the violence in Charlottesville last year, Eagles defensive end Chris Long announced that he would be donating six games' worth of paychecks to fund two scholarships for his alma mater in the Virginia city. A month later, he decided to donate his entire salary, worth about $1 million, toward educational equality in cities where he's played football — Philadelphia, Boston, and St. Louis.

"I think we can all agree that equity in education can help affect change that we all want to see in this country," he told The Associated Press. Long's actions caught the attention of Ellen DeGeneres, who donated $30,000 to his Pledge 10 For Tomorrow initiative, as well as former President Barack Obama, who tweeted about him in a New Year's reflection.

2. Rob Gronkowski donates to Boston Public Schools.

Last May, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski's Gronk Nation Youth Foundation donated $70,000 to Boston Public Schools, with help from John Hancock. The money went to support women's sports programs.

"We want to encourage girls to set ambitious goals. Your only limit is you, athletics can offer you so much," Gronkowski reportedly said in a speech announcing the donation. "You have to clear your mind of all of the cant's and say you can."

3. Zach Ertz donates equipment to youth football.

Last year, Eagles tight end Zach Ertz teamed up with Dunkin' Donuts to donate $15,000 worth of equipment to the Whitman Park Youth Football program in Camden, N.J. The 295 pieces of equipment will reportedly benefit 330 kids, and was funded through Dunkin' Donuts' "TouchDDowns for Kids" program, in which franchisees donate $250 for every touchdown scored by the Eagles.

Additionally, Ertz pledged $250 of his own money for each of his own touchdowns. He's been a part of the program for three years, explaining, "Sports and academics were the two most important things that I had growing up."

4. Malcolm Mitchell encourages young people to read.

Patriots wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell could only read at a middle school level when he started college at the University of Georgia, but he shared last year how he fell in love with reading thanks in part to joining a women's book club. "Somebody called me a nerd," he told CBS News. "It's like a badge of honor to me."

In 2015, he started a youth literacy initiative called Read With Malcolm, and later launched the Share the Magic Foundation "to promote the long-term benefits of reading and book ownership among students in Title I schools and underserved communities." He provides every child in the program with a copy of his book, The Magician's Hat.

5. The Eagles build houses with Habitat for Humanity.

Last December, when the Eagles had back-to-back games on the West Coast, they decided to use their time off the field to do some good. Players Torrey Smith, Mack Hollins, Nigel Bradham, Najee Goode, Jalen Mills, Trey Burton, and Steven Means helped build houses in Santa Ana, Calif., with Habitat for Humanity.

"You can't just be a football team, you have to be a brotherhood," cornerback Jalen Mills said in a video from the day, "and it starts by doing things like this."

6. The Patriots go caroling at a children's hospital.

Patriots players Dwayne Allen, Jacob Hollister, Cody Hollister, Phillip Dorsett, Derek Rivers, and Trevor Reilly took time out of their holiday season last year to sing carols and spread cheer for patients at Boston's Children's Hospital. Song choices included "Jingle Bells" and "Frosty the Snowman," which the players joked was their "worst one."

"It's such a blessing to be here and to be able to share this time with these kids," tight end Jacob Hollister said of the experience. "They just have so much light in their eyes, and to be able to talk with them and share some joy was awesome."

7. Nigel Bradham delivers Thanksgiving meals to families in need.

Last Thanksgiving, Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham teamed up with Philadelphia food delivery company Grateful Plate to provide fully cooked meals to families in the community, who were happy to see him at their door during the holiday season.

"Just being able to help out families and do things that I saw when I was growing up that nobody could help us out," Bradham said of the experience, according to NBC Philadelphia. "Just trying to take advantage of those opportunities to help out families any way you can."

8. Julian Edelman reads his children's book at a charity event.

Malcolm Mitchell isn't the only children's book author on the Patriots. Wide receiver Julian Edelman wrote Flying High, inspired by his own journey to become a football player, and the rejections he faced. Last December he shared the book with kids at a Christmas in the City fundraising event, which benefits children affected by homelessness or poverty.

"There are a lot of kids that are out there that have tough circumstances, and maybe they read the book and it inspires them to not give up," shared Edelman, who also helped auction off a Christmas tree at the event. "Maybe it inspires the kid to go out and work hard. If it helps one kid then it's going to be a success."

9. The Eagles dress up for Halloween at a children's hospital.

Last Halloween, Eagles players Beau Allen, Nigel Bradham, Steven Means, Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, and Joe Walker brought some spooky fun to patients at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, many of whom were not able to trick-or-treat on the holiday. The team members wore costumes and handed out treats to the kids.

"This is one of the highlights of my week to be able to come out here and help in any way possible," linebacker Joe Walker told CBS Philly. One boy, named Donte, said he's a "die-hard Eagles fan" and shared his hope that they would make it to the Super Bowl. It's great to know that he got his wish.

10. The Patriots collect blankets for homeless shelters.

The Patriots recently played the coldest regular-season game in the team's history in their hometown of Foxbourough, Mass. The team responded by collecting blankets, donated by Patriots fans, to give to homeless shelters. More than 1,200 blankets were donated, with the team tweeting photos of the towering piles on Twitter.

Defensive end Derek Rivers and former Patriot Andre Tippett joined Patriots representatives and season ticket members in delivering 600 blankets to Boston's Pine Street Inn (along with hats, gloves, and Dunkin' Donuts gift cards). The rest of the blankets were donated to other shelters around New England.

"I watched the faces of all these people here, the guests that received everything from us, and their eyes lit up," Tippett said. "It's something that they can genuinely use."


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