LANDOVER, Md., November 15, 2022 - The Washington Commanders and The Washington Commanders Charitable Foundation today recognized National Philanthropy Day by reflecting on the team's mission to make a positive and measurable impact in the lives of children that need it most. Over the last year, the Foundation raised over $2 million for community and charitable programs that support 179,000 children and families in the region.
The Commanders' longstanding commitment to the community is rooted in creating more equitable opportunities, addressing direct community needs, and catalyzing positive change. The focus on direct engagement allows the Commanders to deepen its ties with a region that has supported the team throughout its long history, which was commemorated last month during the 90th Anniversary and Alumni Homecoming weekend .
"Our commitment to our community has helped strengthen connections with our neighbors across the region, and we're proud of what we've accomplished," said Jason Wright, President of the Washington Commanders. "Our responsibility to give back to our fans and neighbors goes far beyond putting on a Commanders uniform and playing football. We have to roll up our sleeves and do the hard work off the field, too. That's how we can have a lasting impact."
National Philanthropy Day comes in the middle of a season highlighted with several critical service initiatives.
During the preseason, the Commanders launched the Rookie Community Club initiative, a platform to introduce Washington Commanders' rookies to the DMV community and the partners that are an integral part of the franchise. With support and engagement from Head Coach Ron Rivera, the 2022 Rookie Community Club activities included the B.R.A.K.E.S. Safe Driving event, Capital Area Food Bank Packing event, and a Big Bus Tour of Washington, D.C.
Additionally, on National Gun Violence Awareness Day in June, the Washington Commanders locked arms with other Washington, D.C.-based sports teams, pledging a combined donation of more than $85,000 to Everytown for Gun Safety's Community Safety Fund that provides direct investment, peer convenings, and capacity building to community-based violence intervention programs. Additionally, the Commanders' Rookie class wore orange shirts to recognize and draw attention to the day.
Later in the summer, the team kicked off its 2022 regular season by hosting the 60th annual Welcome Home Luncheon at MGM National Harbor. The event raised money to support youth programs for underserved communities across the region and included a silent auction that offered special experiences like lunch with Coach Rivera and autographed team memorabilia.
Every October, the Washington franchise has prioritized encouraging the DMV community and NFL fans nationwide to THINK PINK® through advocacy, elevating community partners, and especially, promoting breast cancer early detection awareness. This October was no exception, and as part of the team's 24th Annual THINK PINK Breast Cancer Awareness
Month activation, the team hosted a first of its kind Breast Cancer Awareness panel focused healthcare equity, held a health fair with a mobile mammogram van to help women from low income communities access 3-D breast imaging, hosted more than 500 breast cancer survivors at games, and partnered with the Zeta Tau Alpha Foundation to distribute 30,000 pink ribbons to promote breast care awareness and prevention.
Also this fall, The Washington Commanders Charitable Foundation teamed up with Out Teach , a national organization that helps teachers create enriching learning experiences, to build an outdoor garden learning space for students at Rocketship Legacy Prep elementary school in Southeast D.C., helping children gain a new opportunity to learn and play outside the classroom.
Most recently, as part of its annual Salute to Service Month, the team launched a series of military-focused events to honor and support American service members and their families. Leading up to the team's annual Salute to Service game on November 6, select Commanders players and Team Dog Mando visited with patients at Walter Reed National Medical Center .
Following the Salute to Service game, where the Commanders invited 1,000 military members as guests of the team and six VIPs from each branch of service were honored, the team hosted a job fair at FedExField that connected more than 200 transitioning service members with 80 hiring companies. That same week, the team also organized volunteers to pack 1,500 care packages at FedExField for deployed service members in partnership with USO and Black Rifle Coffee Company.
The packing event was an extension of the work the team did this past March, where the team owners made a $75,000 donation to USO Support our Troops, which mobilizes to support service members and their families. Following the donation, The Washington Commanders Charitable Foundation hosted what came to be the largest-ever packing event in USO history as Commanders staff and alumni packaged over 4,000 care packages comprising more than 24,000 items for service members responding to the crisis in Ukraine. Washington Commanders leadership, coaches, and players then hand-delivered the care packages to troops at BWI Airport.
As the 2022 holiday season nears, the Washington Commanders look forward to continuing this record of service throughout the Season of Giving with a series of programs and initiatives that help address critical resource gaps and support underserved members of the
community, with a special focus on local children residing in Prince George's County. To learn more about the team's community initiatives, visit https:// www.commanders.com/news/community.