LANDOVER, Md., December 14, 2023 – The Washington Commanders Charitable Foundation (WCCF) is teaming up with community partners this Holiday Season as part of the team's annual Season of Giving lineup. Events are focused on underserved children and families in the Washington, D.C.; Maryland; and Virginia (DMV) area and include the third annual Toy Giveaway at FedExField on December 16, the annual Marine Toys for Tots toy drive during the team's Week 13 matchup on December 3, and special events led by Washington Commanders players throughout the Holiday Season.
The Season of Giving initiative was launched to positively impact neighboring communities, spread holiday joy and cheer, and engage fans in ongoing efforts to build a stronger community. The month-long initiative is supported by the WCCF, Washington Commanders players, and community and team partners including Children's National Hospital, Clark Construction, Eastern's Automotive Group, Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, Northwest Federal Credit Union, and United Airlines.
Outlined below is a list of Season of Giving team-and player-led events that commenced on Nov. 27 and will continue throughout the month of December.
Marine Toys for Tots Foundation: The WCCF and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve teamed up again for the Toys for Tots toy collection benefiting children across neighboring communities in the DMV during the team's Week 13 matchup versus the Miami Dolphins. More than 60 U.S. Marines from across the DMV were on-hand to help collect toys and monetary donations totaling over $31,000.
In addition to the annual toy collection, the WCCF also invited executives from the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to join gameday from their headquarters in Quantico, Virginia. Lt. Gen. James "Jim" Laster, President and CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, served as the team's honorary captain for the coin toss after joining the Command Center's Gameday LIVE show. Additionally, all proceeds from the 50/50 raffle presented by Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson's 501(c)(3) philanthropic arm, The G-Unity Foundation, benefited the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation in connection with the team's annual Toy Giveaway event. The total jackpot reached over $78,000, with half going to one lucky winner and half to this community initiative.
The 2023 Holiday season marks the 76th anniversary of the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program. Since 2011, The WCCF has raised nearly $300,000 for the Toys for Tots initiative.
Prince George's County Toys for Tots: On December 1, the WCCF teamed up with the Prince George's County Police Department and Toys for Tots to organize their toy inventory stored at the department's headquarters, which neighbors FedExField. Jackie Taylor, daughter of the late Washington Legend Sean Taylor, was present along with Washington Legends Fred Smoot, Chris Samuels, Rocky McIntosh, Brian Mitchell, uniformed Marines and Prince George's County Police Officers, including Chief of Police, Malik Aziz. The PG County Toys for Tots division will work alongside PGPD to distribute toys to more than 7,000 families later this month.
Toy Giveaway, presented by United Airlines: On December 16, the WCCF will host its annual Toy Giveaway, presented by United Airlines. The event, in collaboration with the Toys for Tots Foundation, will run from 12-2pm in SeatGeek Legends Plaza at FedExField. The Toy Giveaway will distribute more than 2,000 toys and team gifts to local youth. Recognizing the local need this holiday season, the team is partnering with community groups to identify youth who will benefit most from the giveaway. This event is a pre-registered event, and the team and local community partners have pre-determined eligibility. For any questions, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Player Events: *
Defensive End Casey Toohill: On November 27, Casey Toohill partnered with Life with Cancer to host Toys for Kids at their family center in Fairfax County. Life with Cancer is Northern Virginia's leading non-profit organization providing education and psychosocial support to all individuals impacted by cancer through evidence-based holistic care at no cost, no matter where treatment is received. Casey distributed toys for children and teenagers who are impacted by cancer.
Defensive End James Smith-Williams & Safety Terrell Burgess: On December 4, James SmithWilliams & Terrell Burgess supported the 4th Annual DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence Holiday Toy & Gift Drive by hosting an in-person shopping event at Child's Play Toy Store in Washington, DC for children who have been impacted by domestic violence.
Offensive Tackle Charles Leno Jr.: Charles Leno, Jr., the team's nominee for the 2022 Walter Payton NFL Man of The Year Award, kicked off Beyond the Entertainer's annual "Leno Claus" campaign this year on December 1. On December 7, Charles and the Hogfarmers Charitable Foundation spent the afternoon at Children's National Hospital, a Proud Pediatric Partner of the Washington Commanders, where he toured the facility, delivered a mobile gaming cart, played BINGO with the kids, and engaged in meet and greets and photos with patients.
On December 11, the Commanders O-Line joined Leno Jr. in giving back this holiday season by spending the evening with teens from the Boys and Girls Club of Greater D.C., where they bowled, played arcade games, spent time with the players, and received generous giftbags from Clark Construction, a Proud Partner of the Washington Commanders.
On December 18, Leno Claus will host another all-girls youth football clinic for middle school and high school students at the OrthoVirginia Training Center at Commanders Park. Female athletes will run through flag football skills followed by scrimmage games with Charles Leno Jr. as their head coach. All athletes will go home with items such as headbands and sports water bottles following the clinic.
Wide Receiver Terry McLaurin: On December 18, the Washington Commanders 2023 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee, Terry McLaurin, in partnership with Northwest Federal Credit Union, The Official Credit Union of the Washington Commanders, will host a holiday event with two Commanders Read schools. During the event, each student will have the chance to explore the Science Center, meet Terry McLaurin, and receive Commanders giveaways while visiting the STEM lab at the Northern Virginia Science Center. This event is tied to the generous donation made by Terry McLaurin, who purchased school supplies for the teachers at the start of the 2023 school year.
Offensive Tackle Cornelius Lucas: On December 18, Cornelius Lucas, through his foundation CL3 Foundation, along with a generous donation from Commanders' partner, Eastern's Automotive Group, will host 20 kids from Prince George's County for a holiday shopping spree at Target in Upper Marlboro.