Matthew and Kelly Stafford donate funds for Detroit based educational center as ‘final thank you’

Soon to be former Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and his wife Kelly are donating $1 million to a Detroit based educational center as a “final thank you” before their leave for the Los Angeles Rams.

Soon to be former Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and his wife Kelly are teaming up with Free Press’ Mitch Album in developing a Detroit based educational center as a “final thank you” before their leave for Los Angeles.

The Stafford’s have made a routine of donating their time and money over the years. Each year they surprise different families with visits and gifts at Christmas time, they fundraised/donated to the Acoustic Neuroma Association after Kelly’s surgery for her brain tumor, they previously donated $1 million towards a local community center, last March they donated $100,000 to Detroit communities to fight the COVID-19 crisis, and most recently they donated $1.5 million to the University of Georgia, with $350,000 earmarked for their new social justice initiative.

Per a report from the Free Press, the Stafford’s have pledged $1 million for this project and Kelly made the announcement via her social media account.

“Our final thank you,” Kelly wrote. “There are not enough words to truly express how grateful we are to have lived here for the past 12 years. We came here for football, but we are leaving with a sense of home and endearment. Endearment not only for this city and the Lions organization, but a love for the people who make up this community. Detroit has supported our family not only by showing up on Sundays, but also through our most difficult times. You took us in as your own and made Detroit feel like home and that is what it became, our home.

“It has been our goal to always give back to the city. Detroit and its people have blessed us in so many ways, we only hope you have felt our gratitude through our joy of giving back to the city. As we sat down and tried to figure out how to thank you one last time, we felt like words were not sufficient. And so, we have teamed up with Mitch Albom to create an education center that will be attached to the SAY PLAY Center where Stafford Field is also located. The new building will enable the Center to increase its student population who benefit from the center’s academic, athletic and arts programs, and service adults with job training programs, GED classes, and community events. This is the legacy we want to leave behind. We would love for you to be a part of it with be a part of this legacy of making a positive impact in so many Detroiters’ lives. If you would like to get involved, I have placed a link in my bio and in my story so that you will be able to do so. Think of the difference we could make together for the thousands of people in city of Detroit.

“You will always remember Matthew Stafford as a Detroit Lions quarterback, but our hope is that you will also remember our family for our love of the Detroit community and its people.

“Thank you Detroit, for everything.”

Lions fans give thank you donations to Deshaun Watson’s charity

After the Houston Texans Thanksgiving Day victory over the Detroit Lions directly led to the firing of coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn, fans gave thank you donations to Deshaun Watson’s charity.

After the Houston Texans Thanksgiving Day victory over the Detroit Lions directly led to the firing of coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn, fans gave “thank you” donations to Deshaun Watson’s charity.

Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, “countless Lions fans had given to the Deshaun Watson Foundation — totaling $1070 as of Sunday morning”.

Our good friends over at Pride of Detroit tracked the source of the idea back to a Detroit Lions Reddit page that suggested fans donate $13 to Watson’s charity, $1 for each of Patricia’s wins during his tenure in Detroit.

According to Watson’s charities website, the foundation “is dedicated to education, health, housing and other charitable causes that support families and youth in underserved communities.”

According to Rapoport, as a way of saying thank you to Lions fans, “Watson will match the donation, providing the first 100 with free lunch at Lefty’s in Detroit, the same restaurant that catered the Texans’ pregame meal on Wednesday night. Watson is a large equity owner in Lefty’s, a casual dining franchise, which opens in Houston in mid-December. It’s his way of saying thank you.”

At the end of the day, it’s a nice gesture by Lions fans and Watson to give back to their communities, regardless of how the concept was formed.

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Lions offer fans opportunity to purchase cutouts at Ford Field benefiting local charities

The Lions announced that they are offering fans an opportunity to purchase cutouts to be displayed at home games and will benefit charities.

The Detroit Lions announced that they are offering fans an opportunity to purchase cutouts to be displayed at Ford Field during home games with the proceeds benefiting charities.

“Though the enthusiasm and energy Lions fans bring to Ford Field on game days can’t be replaced, we are excited to offer an alternative representation of that support at home games this season,” said Detroit Lions Senior Vice President of Business Development Kelly Kozole via a team press release. “The COVID-19 pandemic has hit our region hard and this is another great opportunity to give back, and given the circumstances, have some fun with our fans.”

You can purchase individual games for $50 or upgrade to a full season for $150 (season ticket holders get a discount, with the full season option only costing $125) and the cut outs will be displayed in the lower bowl and end zones — but there is an additional Barry Sanders exclusive option as well.

Per the Lions website, this exclusive option includes, a self cut out and Barry Sanders’ cutout will be placed next to each other in exclusive seats above the tunnel. “A photo of your cutout next to Barry Sanders’ at the game you purchase will be taken and autographed by Barry Sanders then mailed to you. Purchase this one game option for $1,000. Cut out will also remain in the stadium all other games.”

Proceeds from fan cut purchases will benefit Detroit Lions CharitiesGame on Cancer, and Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).

Matthew and Kelly Stafford’s donation to Georgia totals $1.5 million

Matthew and Kelly Stafford’s donation to the University of Georgia is larger than previously reported and totals $1.5 million.

Last week the University of Georgia announced a new social justice initiative that was being funded via donations from Matthew and Kelly Stafford, along with current Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart and his wife Mary Beth.

The Stafford’s were reported to have donated a large sum of money to the university and $350,000 of that donation was earmarked for the program.

This morning Matthew Stafford was a guest on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” and it was revealed that the larger donation totaled $1.5 million.

Here’s what Stafford had to say on the topic:

Obviously we (he and Kelly) both went to the school (Georgia) and we know how it shaped our lives.

I’ve done quite a bit of work in the Detroit area, and hadn’t really hit some other areas that were big parts of our lives. Being able to give back to Georgia. and help college kids that, — it’s some of your most formative years when you’re learning about who you are and who you want to be.

We we’re lucky to partner with the athletic association, the football team that’s creating an incredible program there. We’re happy to be a part of that.

The donation is very widespread. It’s going to help all different kinds of people and athletes, non-athletes, it doesn’t matter. We’re just trying to make as big an impact as we possibly can in a time where we feel like it’s extremely relevant to do so.

Georgia is expected to make a press release later this morning.

Lions RB coach Kyle Caskey launches the Caskey Family Foundation

Detroit Lions running back coach Kyle Caskey and his wife Kayla introduce the Caskey Family Foundation, a charity based organization focuses on helping those less privileged in the Detroit area.

Today, Detroit Lions running back coach Kyle Caskey and his wife Kayla introduced the Caskey Family Foundation, a charity based organization focuses on helping those less privileged in the Detroit area.

“We are extremely excited to get started on what we hope and pray will be a very successful mission in the Detroit area to seek change and help people have equal opportunities to live a successful life,” Caskey said in a press release posted by the Lions. “Kayla and I have often talked about starting a foundation to benefit our local community and decided that now is the time to help create change in the city of Detroit and the surrounding areas.

“Especially in light of the current social climate in our country and around the world, we have decided to stop being passive and start working to make a difference. We know that a positive impact, no matter how big or small, can go a long way. Our country and the world needs more positive influences and we are here to help initiate the change that can save lives.”

The mission of their organization is “to create positive change, bring hope and empower individuals in the local community”, and their first major initiative is called: Surfaces for Success.

The goal of Surfaces for Success is to “create systemic change within the Detroit Public School system by funding 100 Microsoft Surfaces for students at the Detroit Lions Academy that would not have been able to use this technology in the past”.

If you wish to join the Caskey Family Foundation’s initiative you can participate in several ways. You can donate through their website. Join an online auction that will be held Monday, August 3, through Friday, August 7, 2020. And the Caskey’s will be joining our good friends over at Pride of Detroit for a Virtual Charity Karaoke Night this Saturday hosted by managing editor Jeremy Reisman.

Congrats to the Caskey’s on the opening of their foundation and we at Lions Wire wish them a ton of success in their new endeavor!

Danny Shelton collaborating on Lions themed tee-shirt for charity

Detroit Lions defensive tackle Danny Shelton is collaborating with the Samoa Good company on Lions themed tee-shirt for charity.

Detroit Lions defensive tackle Danny Shelton has teamed up with the Samoa Good company, designing and selling tee shirts with the goal of raising money “to help families & medical workers affected by Covid-19”.

So far, Shelton and Samoa Good have produced two tee-shirts and a portion of every sale goes towards Shelton’s own charity, the Furry Shelton Foundation, which is making efforts to give back to those in need during these difficult times.

The first shirt design is called the Danny Shelton Tanoa Tee, while the second is Lions themed — featuring a blue trial Lion face with Shelton’s number (#71) on the shoulder — and proceeds will go to “families in need and medical workers in the Detroit area”:

Danny Shelton’s Tribal Lion Tee is $25 for those interested.

Lions players helping their communities amidst times of crisis

Several Detroit Lions players and coaches have been recognized for helping their communities during the COVID-19 crisis.

Given all that is going on in the world right now, it is refreshing to get some good news.

Several players on the Detroit Lions have taken it upon themselves to help others in these trying times. Whether it is providing food and supplies to first responders on the front lines of the COVID-19 epidemic, or helping communities rebuild after natural disasters, these men have shown that they are much more than just football players.

Members of the Lions organization such as starting center Frank Ragnow, running backs coach Kyle Caskey, and head coach Matt Patricia have already done a lot for their communities in recent weeks, but there have been several other players who also deserve recognition for what they have done.

On Easter Sunday, a two-mile-wide tornado tore through the southeast side of Mississippi. In the center of the storm was the town of Bassfield, where Detroit Lions safety C.J. Moore was born and raised. The small town, with a population of just over 200 people, was ravaged by the storm.

All of this destruction, on top of a global pandemic, wasn’t enough to stop Moore and his twin brother A.J. from returning home to help. The two young NFL safeties loaded up on supplies and went to Bassfield. There, they were able to distribute cases of water and toiletries to nearly half of the town’s population.

Moore is looking to make as much of an impact on the field in 2020 as he has in his community. Brought to the team as an undrafted free agent in 2019, he secured a spot on the 53-man roster as a core special teamer and extra safety.

Offensive lineman Oday Aboushi may not be able to help those suffering from the novel coronavirus in the way his siblings, who are health care workers in New York City, have been able to, but that hasn’t stopped him from providing aide to the people of his hometown. The Brooklyn, New York native has done his part by providing food and protective gear to the health care workers on the front lines of the epidemic.

Aboushi wasn’t the only Lions offensive lineman to help out health care workers though. Backup tackle Tyrell Crosby bought dinner for the staff of the Valley Hospital Corelab in his hometown of Las Vegas.

Wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. helped the community of San Diego, where he lives in the offseason, by buying meals for 400 staff members of the Scripps Health Hospital.

These Detroit Lions players have set great examples of what it means to be an NFL athlete. Despite all that is going on in the world, they stepped up and did what they needed to do to help the people of their community.

Frank Ragnow donates to five food pantries in ‘three amazing communities’

Detroit Lions offensive lineman Frank Ragnow is donating $30,000 to “three amazing communities” food pantries in wake of COVID-19 epidemic.

Detroit Lions offensive lineman Frank Ragnow is giving back to three communities, including donating $10,000 to Gleaners Community Food Bank here in Michigan.

“Minnesota, where I grew up, which raised me, my home forever. Arkansas, completely shaped me. A lot happened right there. Took me under their wing when I lived through some tough times and some great times. And Michigan, Detroit, a place that’s completely embraced me and did nothing but support me,” Ragnow said to Dave Birkett of the Free Press. “Three amazing communities that have completely impacted me in a way that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to express and be able to give back how I feel they’ve impacted me, so I just thought the least I could do is help people out.”

Ragnow’s decision to donate to Gleaners was inspired by Lions’ running back coach Kyle Caskey, who along with his wife, started a virtual food drive last week. Ragnow’s $10,000 donation is separate from Caskey’s food drive, which has currently raised 63-percent (over $12,000) of its goal.

Along with Ragnow and Caskey, several other Lions have joined in to donate to local charities during this unprecedented time, including the Stafford’s donating meals for first responders and food banks, and coach Matt Patricia spearheading Empowerment Plan to mass produce surgical masks.

Lions’ Matthew Stafford and Kyle Caskey aiding communities amidst COVID-19 crisis

The Detroit Lions community is making the neighborhoods of Michigan are taken care with the COVID-19 crisis through various resources

The COVID-19 crisis is impacting neighborhoods across the world, there is a lot of doom and gloom in the world right now. But there are quite a few inspirational stories of people coming to the aid of others, assisting in any way possible.

Courageous medical staffs are putting aside their needs to help the welfare of the sick, educators are diligently working on shifting gears to online learning programs, while others provide food to families who can’t afford them at this time.

Thankfully, we have of those stories in the Detroit Lions community as well.

Matthew and Kelly Stafford have shown their generosity numerous times in the Detroit area, and they have stepped in once again during this ongoing dilemma. According to a report from local new channel four, the Stafford’s said they will be providing free meals to brave medical staff personnel at a local Wahlburgers:

“The couple said they will cover up to $5,000 in orders made by first responders, including doctors, nurses, police officers, and firefighters, during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.”

Kelly went on to state this won’t be their only stop in and will do this across the state.

“We will be doing this at multiple restaurants in Michigan,” Kelly said. “I will announce them tomorrow here on my Instagram with all the details, so if you work at a hospital, please go grab a meal on us and please stay safe and healthy.”

Once again, the Staffords have shown their heart and kind spirit through these difficult times and the appreciation they deserve can not be measured.

Another individual in the Lions community who is trying to make a difference is Lions’ running back coach Kyle Caskey, who with his wife Kayla, has created a “virtual food drive” to help families in need during this pandemic.

The Caskeys have teamed up with Gleaners, a local food bank, aiming to raise $20,000 to assist neighborhoods in the Detroit area, as the majority are unable to leave their households at this time.

Below is a video Caskey and his wife posted on Twitter about the food drive:

If you are able, please consider donating. The link to donate is coach Caskey’s tweet below and for every one dollar donated, three meals will make their way to much-needed families.

The Staffords and Caskeys have shown the pure heart of Detroit, by finding positive ways to make an impact. With how morbid the world might be, it is genuinely aspiring to see individuals step up and make a difference in their communities.