EdZone USA

“There are students all over this country including my hometown of Charlottesville who lack the essential items needed to be prepared for school. When students are cold, hungry or uncomfortable they are not their best selves and aren’t prepared to learn.”
– Chris Long

Charlottesville, Philadelphia and St. Louis

The Chris Long Foundation believes that every child should have equitable access to gain an education and achieve their dreams. We are working in Charlottesville, Philadelphia and St. Louis to support students through the provision of basic needs, breaking down barriers to learning. Every child deserves to start the school day cared for, provided for, and confident. In our three target cities, we have partnered with organizations and school districts to identify students and schools that would benefit from the EdZone initiative.

Working with our implementation partners we will begin distributing essential needs items at drives throughout the year where families can come and gain access to shoes, coats, hygiene products and more. Additionally, we will be establishing closets in schools in each city where students will be able to access these items on a daily basis during the school year.

Nationally

In addition to providing basic essential needs items, we will also be funding book distributions in locations throughout the United States. We’ll be partnering with First Book to distribute books to children for their at-home libraires, promoting early childhood literacy.

We have chosen to focus on literacy to address the documented connection between reading proficiency and long-term academic success and increased high school graduation rates. When students hit 4th-grade they switch from learning to read, to reading to learn. Those students who do not have access to books at home can fall behind their peers in school. Supplying students from underserved communities with books for a home library will help level the playing field.

We will run book distribution events in our three target cities and in partnership with professional athletes, identify additional underserved communities to run book distributions.

Be a part of the EdZone initiative and help break down barriers to learning for students across the country.

If you a business that would like to support our EdZone initiative or are interested in donating new essential needs items, please contact us here.

EdZone Partners

Charlottesville City Schools

Cradles to Crayons

First Book

The Little Bit Foundation

Waterboys Tanzania

Waterboys is the signature initiative of the Chris Long Foundation, and is dedicated to raising funds and awareness for clean water for communities in East Africa. Bringing together NFL players, their fans, corporate sponsors, and other charitable organizations, it works to fund the building of sustainable clean water wells through WorldServe International, the initiative’s benefiting charity.

Chris Long established the Waterboys initiative in 2015.

Since the start of the initiative, Long has recruited 26 players from over 20 different teams to serve as their club’s “waterboy.”

The group has raised over $1.3 million to date – enough to build 24 wells.

The goal is to build a well representing each of the 32 NFL teams.

Visit Waterboys.org to learn more.

Conquering Kili Tanzania

Chris Long teamed up with former Seattle Seahawk and active-duty Green Beret Nate Boyer to develop the Conquering Kili program, as part of the Waterboys initiative. The program gives combat veterans a new mission that serves people in need: climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise the funds needed to build wells for communities in East Africa.

With Blake Watson, a Marine combat veteran who lost his leg on his first deployment in Iraq, Boyer made the first climb in February 2016, honoring the sacrifices that all veterans have made for our country.

Over $275,000 has been raised to construct four wells in Tanzania.

Learn more at Waterboys.org

Appreciation & Support for Veterans USA

The Chris Long Foundation hosts events honoring members of the military and their families, and makes financial contributions to organizations that support and serve veterans.

The Chris Long Foundation donated funds to Homes for Our Troops (based in Taunton, MA) and Merging Vets & Players (based in Los Angeles, CA) in November 2016.

In December 2016, the Foundation hosted a holiday dinner for 100 active duty military members, veterans and their families in Boston, MA. Chris Long described it as “a small token of my appreciation for the service and sacrifice they’ve made to our country.” He continued, “This event is a personal way for us to reach out and let our local veterans know they are not alone and provide them with some additional cheer.”

Living on the Streets Saint Louis

Chris and teammate William Hayes had been donating money to organizations that support the homeless community in St. Louis. But they felt they could be doing more. So, they took to the streets — literally — spending a day and night “undercover” as homeless men, and documenting their experience.

Chris Long joined William Hayes in supporting St. Patrick Center through monetary donations.

Soon after, the two took a step further in raising awareness of the issues facing those who are homeless and at risk of becoming homeless. They went undercover as homeless men for 24 hours on the streets of St. Louis, capturing their experience on video as they asked for money on street corners, searched for shelter, encountered police, and spoke to people in the homeless community.

Support for Youth Programs Saint Louis and Charlottesville

Chris Long will donate all 10 of his NFL game checks from the 2017 season to support educational equity and opportunity, as part of his Pledge 10 for Tomorrow campaign.

“In my 10th year, I want to celebrate the awesome opportunity I’ve had to play football by giving back to the communities that have given me that gift,” said Chris. “Educational opportunity and equity are the best gateway to a better tomorrow for everyone in America.”

We’ve identified four organizations who focus on making education easily accessible to underserved youth, while also providing students the support they need to develop strong social and emotional character. They’re based in the three communities in which Chris has played during his NFL career: College Bound and The Little Bit Foundation in St. Louis, MO, and the Summer Search chapters in Boston, MA, and Philadelphia, PA.

Each of the four organizations will receive a $100,000 donation from Long. But together, we can do more. Join in his pursuit of equal education opportunities for all students: make a recurring donation for each game remaining in the NFL regular season, or simply make a pledge of $10. The city with the most pledges to the campaign will receive an additional $50,000 from Long.

Throughout the first 9 years of his career, Chris has regularly supported youth in need through monetary donations and opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise be able to access. He has partnered with organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters and Matthews Dickey Boys and Girls Clubs, given personal scholarships to disadvantaged students, and connected kids with enriching experiences that spark their imaginations, build their confidence and brighten their futures.