Tampa Bay Buccaneers players give back by raising money, starting scholarships for students
Published October 27, 2023 11:46AM
Tampa FOX 13 News
TAMPA, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have not only been making waves on the football field but have also been making a significant impact off the field. Several players, including quarterback Baker Mayfield and wide receiver Mike Evans, have started foundations and initiatives to give back to their community.
Leveling the Playing Field
Baker Mayfield, the star quarterback of the Buccaneers, started the Baker & Emily Mayfield Foundation with the aim of helping parents afford early education for their children. Mayfield firmly believes that early education is a vital tool in leveling the playing field and providing equal opportunities for all children, regardless of their socioeconomic backgrounds.
To further support his cause, Mayfield hosted a charity event at Tampa’s Top Golf in August, raising an impressive $56,000 for the Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County. This donation will be matched by the state, resulting in a total of $112,000 that will go towards providing education opportunities and childcare access to parents in need. Dr. Fred Hicks, CEO of the Early Learning Coalition in Hillsborough County, expressed his gratitude, highlighting the impact such donations have on preschool-age children who often lack the necessary financial resources to meet their basic obligations.
Empowering Through Education and Support
Wide receiver Mike Evans, another standout player on the Buccaneers’ roster, established the Mike Evans Family Foundation to empower individuals through education and support. Evans, who himself attended Texas A&M on a football scholarship, is passionate about affording others the same opportunity he had.
Since its inception in 2017, the Mike Evans Family Foundation has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in college scholarships. In addition, the foundation focuses on supporting survivors of domestic violence, a cause close to Evans’ heart. Courtney Foss, the Executive Director of the foundation, shared that they were able to award $150,000 in college scholarships this year, bringing the total amount awarded to over $400,000 in just a few short years.
The impact of these scholarships can be clearly seen through the story of Cody Szelc, a junior and football player at Monmouth College in Illinois. Szelc received a $5,000 per semester scholarship through the Evans foundation, which allowed him to pursue his education. Szelc emotionally expressed that without the scholarship, he would not have been able to attend college. It is through initiatives like these that players like Evans are providing life-changing opportunities to young individuals pursuing their dreams.
Editorial: The Power of Athletes as Philanthropists
The actions of players like Baker Mayfield and Mike Evans highlight the immense power and influence that athletes possess as philanthropists. Their commitment to giving back and creating positive change in their communities serves as a reminder that success on the field should be accompanied by a responsibility to make a difference off the field.
Through their foundations, Mayfield and Evans have tackled important issues such as education and domestic violence, using their platforms to amplify these causes and provide support to those in need. By investing in early education and providing college scholarships, they are addressing systemic inequalities and uplifting individuals who may not have had the same opportunities otherwise.
Athletes, particularly those in high-profile positions like the NFL, have a unique ability to bring attention to social issues and inspire others to take action. Their passion for creating positive change can serve as a catalyst for broader societal transformation.
Advice: Supporting Athletes’ Philanthropic Endeavors
As fans and members of the community, there are several ways in which we can support the philanthropic endeavors of athletes like Baker Mayfield and Mike Evans:
1. Stay Informed:
Keep yourself updated on the initiatives undertaken by athletes and their foundations. Follow their social media accounts, visit their websites, and attend fundraising events to stay connected and informed about their charitable work. By staying informed, you can better understand the impact they are making and find ways to support their causes.
2. Volunteer and Donate:
Support these foundations by volunteering your time or making monetary donations. Many athletes’ foundations have volunteer opportunities or accept financial contributions to further their impact. Even small donations can make a difference and contribute to their mission of empowering individuals and communities.
3. Spread the Word:
Use your own platform to amplify the message and work of these athlete-foundations. Share their stories on social media, talk to friends and family about their causes, and encourage others to get involved. By spreading awareness, you can help expand their reach and inspire others to make a positive impact.
4. Engage in Dialogue:
Engage in meaningful conversations about the importance of athletes’ philanthropic work. Discuss their impact on society and how their endeavors contribute to creating a more equitable and compassionate world. By actively participating in these discussions, you can help foster a culture that values and supports athletes’ efforts in giving back.
In conclusion, the actions of athletes like Baker Mayfield and Mike Evans remind us of the potential for positive change that exists within the world of sports. Their foundations and initiatives serve as shining examples of how athletes can use their influence to address pressing social issues and empower individuals. By supporting their causes, we not only contribute to their mission but also join them in making a real difference in the world.
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The image is for illustrative purposes only and does not depict the actual situation.
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