Cause: Social Justice
Organization: International Justice Mission
“In America, it is hard to understand a culture of impunity, where literally you call 911 and you say someone is invading my home and is stealing and there is nobody to come and get you, to protect you, to fight for you. There are countries and cultures and places where that is the case. And so IJM goes into those places and works with local government authorities and brings justice and brings justice to impunity.”
In the biggest moment of his career, Kirk Cousins turned a memorable postgame slogan into something beneficial for those fighting for justice internationally. In the moments after Cousins helped cap off the Redskins’ biggest comeback in franchise history, Cousins exalted “You like that?!” in the bowels of FedExField. Receiving loads of media attention, Cousins paired up with the International Justice Mission to create shirts with the catchphrase on it with all proceeds going to IJM. IJM works with local police to rescue victims of ongoing violence before restoring those survivors to their communities.
Cause: Loads of Love
Organization: Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation
“I want to create a blueprint, basically, where if somebody in Washington state sees this or in Oregon and says, ‘Wow, this is crazy. I wonder if it can help there.’ I want them to start reaching out to schools in the area to see if they have a need, because when we reached out to PG county, they told us that the No. 1 thing that they ask for that they don’t get is washers and dryers, and that blew my mind. I had no idea, before we started any of this that that was something that schools asked for. Hopefully, we can raise some awareness and create a blueprint, and if somebody has a school in their area where they think this could be beneficial, hit me up on Twitter and I’ll tell you what we did. We can start doing some good."
In November, long snapper Nick Sundberg unveiled the Loads of Love Program in partnership with the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation. The program brought washers and dryers to local schools in the Washington, D.C. area. Sundberg said his wife was the one who came up with the idea after she read a study that claimed attendance and grades increased if students and their families have a chance to wash clothes at school rather than at a laundromat. Sundberg pitched the idea to the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation last year and pledged $25,000 to help the program get off the ground. While Loads of Love is just in its first year, the program has plans to continue expanding.
Cause: Music Education
Organization: Music Unites
To help at-risk children, Music Unites aims to promote music education both during and after school. The foundation currently offers after school programs free of charge, as well as monthly workshops available to the public. Music Unites has worked with a myriad of famous musicians, including Sting and John Forte, putting on concerts and choir performances for local communities. Breeland has also dabbled in the music industry, releasing “Running Up Check” back in March with LR.newton, which has 15,000 views on YouTube.
Cause: Children’s Chronic Illness
Organization: Ryan Kerrigan’s Blitz For The Better Foundation
“If I could tell kids in the hospitals one thing, it’s just that we’re thinking about them, we’re praying for them and that we’re all working hard, not just me with my foundation, but all of us with the Redskins are working hard to be able to impact these kids in a positive way."
For My Cause My Cleats, linebacker Ryan Kerrigan will be supporting the charity he started back in 2013, Ryan Kerrigan’s Blitz for the Better Foundation. Kerrigan’s aim is to help children with special needs or who are fighting serious chronic illnesses. In the past, Blitz for the Better opened Kerrigan’s Korners, areas in children’s hospitals where patients and their families can enjoy time together playing games, reading books or watching movies. Kerrigan’s foundation has so far created eight of these locations in the Washington, D.C., area including recent Korners with the help of the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation.
Organization: Fight Fibromyalgia
Safety D.J. Swearinger will support the fight against Fibromyalgia for My Cause My Cleats. Fibromyalgia, a disease that causes pain in muscles and bones, currently has no cure and affects more than four million adults in the U.S. according to the Center for Disease Control. Swearinger, who has two sisters battling the disease, will seek to bring awareness to the issue.
Cause: Family And Community-Based Services
Organization: The National Center For Children and Families
“It’s a cause that I was introduced to a few years back and what they do is they bring families from off the streets and they give them housing, they take care of them and pretty much just help them in each and every way that they possibly can.”
Tight end Vernon Davis hopes to use the NFL’s My Cause My Cleats campaign to shed light on the good work that The National Center For Children and Families does for the local community. The National Center For Children and Families uses a four-pronged approach to their work: community supports, education and training, volunteerism and social advocacy. The National Center For Children and Families has four divisions as well: adolescent services, community-based services, family services and foster care and adoption services.
Cause: Breast Cancer Awareness
Organization: Susan G. Komen
Deshazor Everett is helping bring greater awareness to breast cancer. His grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer and was able to win her battle, but he understands that more work needs to be done for those impacted by this disease. He is teaming up with Susan G. Komen foundation.
The Susan G. Komen foundation is one of the most prominent campaigns fighting against breast cancer, still going strong in its 35th year. The foundation hopes to reduce breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the United States by 2026.
Organization: Autism Speaks
“My son, he suffers from stuff like that, so we, not only dealing with it as a family, but as a village and for the entire DMV area, not only that but for the entire world, because it’s one of those things that doesn’t get talked about that much.”
Ziggy Hood’s cause is focusing on something that has affected his family closely, as he will be drawing attention to the Autism Speaks campaign. Founded in 2005, the Austism Speaks foundation has worked to provide assistance and solutions to children with autism as well as their families and has promoted research into causes and better interventions for the disorder. The organization also promotes the acceptance of those who deal with autism and hopes to educate people on the disorder on a more widespread level.
Cause: Raising A Healthier Generation
“My non-profit organization Starz24, an outreach of youth and their activity and play, helps surround kids with making good choices, getting a lot of activity amid the violence that goes on. So, we’re trying to help and getting them off the streets and go onto a better path than where they are now.”
Josh Norman hopes to use the My Cause My Cleats campaign to draw attention to his Starz24 Foundation as well as the dire situation in Puerto Rico, something that he has been outspoken about over the last couple months. The mission of Norman’s Starz24 Foundation is to provide enrichment to children through community events and youth programs with an emphasis on fitness and teamwork, as the organization’s website states. Recently, however, Norman has taken it upon himself to use his personal foundation to help those in need in Puerto Rico, in the wake of Hurricane Maria. The foundation has reached out to Boys and Girls clubs on the island and set out to donate a goal of $250,000 earlier in November.
Cause: Fanconi Anemia And Pediatric Cancer Awareness
Organization: Kidz1stFund/Abby’s Army
“There’s this little girl, Abby. I met her family during training camp. She has pediatric cancer. I couldn’t imagine being a parent and having a son or daughter with cancer or some rare blood disease. I think the biggest thing is really just donations or sending out kinds words. Whatever you can do, it helps. It’s one of those things where sometimes people just need support.”
Chris Thompson will be working with Abby’s Army, a foundation started by two parents whose daughter Abby battled with brain cancer. Thompson said he recently met with Abby and was inspired by her courage. Thompson also said that Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher’s son had battled with Fanconi anemia during his time with the Seminoles, leading to his dedication to help raise awareness of the disease.
Cause: Youth Education
Organization: Morgan Moses Foundation
Morgan Moses said the importance of funding education will be the main driver for his charity this year. Moses and his foundation most recently worked with Tutor.com, leaving phone messages to local students encouraging them to work hard in school. Moses started his foundation back in 2015.
Cause: Premature Birth
Organization: March of Dimes
Terrell McClain will work with the March of Dimes to bring help medical advances aimed at preventing premature births. McClain said this was an issue that touched his family personally, and that he hopes this initiative will help raise funds to help pregnant mothers avoid such complications.
Cause: Autism Awareness
Organization: Autism Speaks
Josh Doctson will be one of three Redskins players focusing on autism this year. Doctson said he wants to let others know that those who suffer from the disease should be treated no differently. The wide receiver wants to generate awareness on the issue and hopes that his initiative will help enrich the lives of those affected.
Cause: Helping Inner City Youth
Organization: Inner City Visions
Zach Brown, who grew up in an inner city, wants to help children who are currently growing up in a similar situation.
Cause: Autism Awareness
Organization: Autism Society
Montae Nicholson, who has a younger cousin with autism, hopes My Cause My Cleats’ platform will inspire children with the disease to pursue their dreams. Nicholson’s 16-year-old cousin also plays football.
Cause: Alzheimer’s Awareness
Organization: Alzheimer’s Foundation of America
Fabian Moreau is working with the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America to raise awareness for those who suffer from the disease, like his grandfather. Moreau emphasized the importance of cherishing memories, and said he wants this year’s initiative help with advancing researching a cure.
Cause: Multiple Sclerosis
Organization: National Multiple Sclerosis Society
The 14-year veteran has many close to his family that have suffered from multiple sclerosis, as he hopes he can help raise awareness for the disease.
Cause: Military Appreciation
Organization: Chis Kyle Frog Foundation
Perine said that in light of the recent protests around the league, he hopes he can help others understand how much players in the NFL appreciate and are thankful of members of the military.
Cause: Children And Police
Organization: Ty Nsekhe Foundation
The Ty Nsekhe Foundation has worked with police officers across the country in the aim to improve relationships between law enforcement and the public.
“This foundation allows me to take advantage of my platform and be able to give back,” he said.
Organization: Hope for Haiti
Galette grew up in Haiti and said that even seven years after the devastating earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people, the country still deserves all the aid it can get.