The city of El Paso, Texas suffered a horrific tragedy when more than 20 people were killed in a mass shooting at a Walmart. Since the tragedy, Americans have volunteered time and money to help restore some sense of normalcy to the city along the Mexico border. The Dallas Cowboys and NFL are among the organizations providing financial help to El Paso.
The Dallas Cowboys’ $50,000 donation
In the days following the attack, the Dallas Cowboys announced the team would make a $50,000 donation to the El Paso Community Victims’ Fund, which helps provide assistance to the families of shooting victims. The team’s donation was made in connection with the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Foundation.
Team executive Charlotte Jones Anderson issued a statement saying the Cowboys’ “hearts and support are with the entire El Paso community and especially with the families of the victims of this very tragic event.” The NFL Foundation also announced it would match the Cowboys’ $50,000 with a donation of its own.
The team’s El Paso connection
The Cowboys have a large fanbase in El Paso. The team also has annual community outreach programs, including youth and high-school football camps, as well as public education grant opportunities, there.
J.J. Watt philanthropic effort
This isn’t the first time NFL teams and players have helped communities in need. The Texans’ J.J. Watt raised money for Houston in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. After the storm devastated the area in 2017, Watt began accepting donations for people affected by the hurricane during Week 3 of the NFL preseason.
In the first two hours, he raised $200,000. Watt continued raising money and had more than $37 million in donations three weeks into the campaign. He continued raising money for a year after Harvey hit. By August 2018, Watt’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund raised $41.6 million, making it the largest crowd-sourced fundraiser in history.
Other NFL players’ efforts
Here are some other examples of NFL players using their fame to raise awareness and money for charitable causes:
- In 2003, Saints QB Drew Brees founded the Drew Brees Foundation, which honors his wife’s aunt who died of cancer. It’s raised $22 million to support cancer patients and related programs.
- For the past several years, Giants QB Eli Manning has teamed up with the Hackensack University Medical Center to raise funds for its Tackle Kids Cancer initiative. Manning matched $100,000 in donations in 2016 and bumped it up to $150,000 in 2017. In 2018, he raised the amount again and matched $200,000.
- Eagles QB Carson Wentz worked with teammates to raise half a million dollars to build a sports complex in ravaged areas of Haiti.
- Giants safety Michael Thomas, a Houston native, also raised money for his hometown in the wake of Harvey.