Happy Thanksgiving one and all.
One of the most important things about the holiday season is the giving from those who have a little more.
That is something the Arizona Cardinals have been strong in since their move to the valley, not only as an organization, but as individual players.
We know about the work of former Walter Payton Man of the Year Larry Fitzgerald and all he did for the community, but the Cardinals have a number of players still doing things on their own, as well as part of the team and organization.
Today, we wanted to highlight some of the great things the Arizona Cardinals are doing within the community and for charities.
Remember 2020 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee Corey Peters? Well during the offseason, while not even affiliated with the Arizona Cardinals he was still finding a way to make an impact.
Peters’ Educational Enrichment Project brought back their virtual book club in March of 2021:
NFL DL Corey Peters is relaunching his weekly virtual book club “The Corey Peters Playbook” presented by Peters Educational Enrichment Project. Corey has been holding an in-person book club for the past few years, but transitioned to virtual last year at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It served as an outlet for high school students in Arizona to meet and discuss several books during the pandemic. Each week, Corey also invited a special guest to meet with the students, including fellow NFL players Calais Campbell and Chandler Jones.
The Spring 2021 session will be opened up to all high school students nationwide. The students will meet weekly with Corey over Zoom and have in-depth discussions over a variety of books. The aim of the club is to provide students with an educational outlet, allowing for healthy discussion and debate among peers, as well as mentorship and guidance from both Corey and his guests.
Peters’ focus has always been on education and the fact he can get his friends like Campbell and Jones to show up and participate helps bring kids into learning to love to read.
Peters is not alone, even on the defensive line.
One of the most generous and philanthropical of all NFL players is J.J. Watt and his JJ Watt Foundation.
Watt opened his time in Arizona by making donations to the city of Laveen, Ariz. to help their schools get new athletic uniforms:
@JJWatt is now with the @AZCardinals, but are you aware of the difference he's made in Laveen? The @WattFoundation has donated thousands of dollars to Paseo Pointe School to purchase team uniforms and athletic equipment. More: https://t.co/4gQcLLYXDV pic.twitter.com/bzXL4eShQT— Laveen Schools (@LaveenSchools) April 8, 2021
Of course he couldn’t forget about Houston, where he made a big donation to the Boys and Girls Club of Houston to help open six new technology centers.
We are soooo grateful to @NFL superstar @JJWatt for his legacy donation in support of 6 NEW technology centers at our Clubs! This gift will definitely have a long-lasting impact on our members! THANK YOU @JJWatt! @BGCA_Clubs pic.twitter.com/ZaVEu9be6J— Boys & Girls Clubs Houston (@bgcghouston) June 23, 2021
However, what makes Watt special is that he is making an impact all over the country, including his home state of Wisconsin, where he made a big offseason donation to help outfit a number of schools with football equipment for the year:
Thanks to a generous grant from the @WattFoundation Adair County Middle School will be able to provide new shoulder pads, padded girdles, and knee pads to our players this season. Thanks for helping us keep our players safe! pic.twitter.com/OLVvjaEHcv— Wes Stephens (@Coach_Wes65) June 18, 2021
Individuals make up the team, but the team as a whole, the organization for the Arizona Cardinals continue to lead the way in the valley for giving.
Before their game against the Carolina Panthers, the team along with the United Food Bank joined forces to collect nonperishable food items. During Covid-19, United Food Bank donated over 27 million pounds of food for 22.5 million meals in 2020, which was a 20% increase over the previous season.
What about within the community?
The Arizona Cardinals have made a huge impact for local high schools this season, teaming up with State Farm to provide high schools with new football fields in the “Good Neighbor Field” program.
Two schools have benefitted in 2021, Canyon State Academy in Queen Creek, Ariz., which is a school for at-risk children and adolescents, as well as Mesquite High School in Gilbert, Ariz. The donations will provide new, upgraded fields and scoreboards for each of the schools, and the effort was part of the $100,000 National Football League (NFL) Match Grant.
They also are great at setting up scholarship opportunities to honor some of the historical figures from Cardinals past, like the Adele Harris Scholarship, as owner Michael Bidwill explained it:
“This scholarship serves two main purposes. It recognizes the valuable role that Adele played within our organization for more than a quarter of a century and also connects her to future generations who aspire to follow in her footsteps. We are grateful for the opportunity to do both of those things.”
The Arizona Cardinals represent the valley so well in their charitable givings, they are stocked with players who are willing to give their time, money and efforts to the local community and those in need, and they make cheering for them easy because of it.
Thank you to the Arizona Cardinals for all you have done and will continue to do to represent the state of Arizona.