As a nation we are obsessed with the game of football on all levels. Whether it be Pop Warner, flag, high school, collegiate ball or the NFL, fans flock by the masses to see their favorite players gear up and compete. The autumn and winter are special times for many with as they are entrenched in the delights of the holidays, which makes it a perfect time to reflect and remember the things that are far more important off the gridiron.
This week kicked off the NFL’s “My Cause My Cleats”, a week where players get to support a cause they are passionate about by having custom cleats created and then put up for auction to support their various causes. Over 1,000 NFL players will participate, including 67 current and former Denver Broncos players supporting numerous charities and charitable organizations.
This is a wonderful chance for players to speak on and advocate for organizations that are close to their hearts and give to those same causes that transcend the game of football.
Garett Bolles- National Center for Learning Disabilities Foundation
The National Center for Learning Disabilities has been a foundation that Denver offensive tackle Garett Bolles has been affiliated with for years and continues to support as a spokesperson.
Having grown up with a learning disability, Bolles has shown a passion and dedication to the NCLD, bringing awareness to the prevalence of learning disabilities. The NCLD specializes in providing resources and advocating for young people and parents who are struggling with learning and/or attention issues.
According to their website, one in five children struggles with some form of learning disability and the National Center for Learning Disabilities has served millions of these individuals since its inception in 1977.
Jerry Jeudy- Trisomy 18 Foundation
For the second year in a row, Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy selected to represent the Trisomy 18 foundation, a foundation that is close to his heart. Jeudy’s sister Aaliyah was one effected by this condition and sadly passed away at the age of seven.
Trisomy 18, also called Edwards syndrome, is a chromosomal condition associated with abnormalities in many parts of the body. Individuals with trisomy 18 often have slow growth before birth and a low birth weight. Affected individuals may have heart defects and abnormalities of other organs that develop before birth. Five to 10 percent of children with this condition live past their first year, and these children often have severe intellectual disability.
The Trisomy 18 Foundation’s mission statement on their website states, “Our mission is to encourage the search for treatments and preventions of Trisomy 18, to educate and support medical professionals, and to create a caring community that embraces ALL families impacted by the Trisomy 18 diagnosis of a much-wanted child.”
Mike Purcell- Wounded Warrior Project
Denver defensive tackle Mike Purcell will, once again, be representing the Wounded Warrior Project. Last season Purcell surprised four local Wounded Warriors by calling them and putting their names on his cleats as an homage to their service and sacrifice.
The Wounded Warrior Project is a charity that’s purpose is to aid and support military veterans who have suffered physical or mental injury or illness. The overarching goal is to create a community of veterans and provide resources to these American heroes free of charge. They also help families or caregivers of wounded warriors by providing aid in multiple fashions.
The Wounded Warrior Project is a well-established charity but is always in need of donations to continue their hard work for the United States military alumnus.
Justin Simmons- Justin Simmons Foundation and Fuel Up to Play 60
In an attempt to do as much good as possible, Broncos safety and team leader Justin Simmons will be representing both the Justin Simmons Foundation and Fuel Up to Play 60 on his cleats this coming Sunday.
In 2020, Justin Simmons started his foundation with the intention of serving the community’s young people initiatives focused on health, mentoring, hunger relief and education. Justin and his wife Taryn have shown love an dedication to Denver and it’s surrounding communities and continue to be passionate about serving those most in need.
Additionally, Justin Simmons is the Broncos ambassador to Fuel Up to Play 60, a program established in 2009 to encourage healthy lifestyles in children and adolescents around the nation. The program has teamed with thousands of schools nationwide and has served millions of children in the effort to educate them about nutrition, active living and environmental awareness.
These are only some of the many charities and organizations that will be highlighted by the Denver Broncos players on Sunday. If you are interested in seeing who your favorite player is representing or making a charitable donation, a full list is detailed here on the NFL’s website.