Members of the Kansas City Chiefs roster are set to participate in the NFL's *My Cause My Cleats *campaign in Sunday's contest against the Atlanta Falcons. The initiative's focus is to bring awareness to individual players' philanthropic missions. Players from around the league will debut custom-designed cleats that will be worn in Week 13.
In addition, players will have the opportunity to raise funds for the cause of their choosing by auctioning their cleats off at NFL Auction. One hundred percent of funds raised will be donated to charities selected by players—all designated charities must have 501c3 status.
Ten players from the team have selected to participate in the *My Cause My Cleats *campaign:
S Eric Berry – Hodgkin's Lymphoma Awareness
On Nov. 22, 2014, Chiefs Safety Eric Berry was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a cancer developed in the white blood cells. Through Berry's mental and physical toughness, and support from his family and team, he was announced cancer free within seven months and returned to the field just nine months after his initial diagnosis. His remarkable return earned him the AP Comeback Player of the Year Award following the 2015 season. Berry's journey and efforts to raise awareness of Hodgkin's Lymphoma stand as a monument of hope and strength for others experiencing hard times.
P Dustin Colquitt & LS James Winchester – TeamSmile
TeamSmile is the nation's premier advocacy group that partners oral health professionals with professional athletic organizations to provide life-changing dental care to underserved children in our communities. By partnering with professional sports organizations, TeamSmile creates an experience that develops bonds between children's organizations, oral health professionals, surrounding communities, and the athletes that solidify the message that oral health care is vitally important to long-term health.
WR Chris Conley – Enduring Hearts
Enduring Hearts' mission is to fund important and innovative research to increase the longevity of pediatric heart transplants, and improve the quality of life for transplant recipients. The foundation gives priority to clinical research projects and new emerging technologies that focus on understanding the cause, development and prevention of human transplantation diseases, including organ injury and rejection, viral infection and late graft deterioration.
LB Derrick Johnson – Defend the Dream Foundation
Derrick Johnson's Defend the Dream Foundation was founded in 2012 with the mission to provide low-income and inner city youth with opportunities and resources to reach their full potential. One of Johnson's primary focuses is DJ's Discovery Den, which turns unused classroom areas into a reading oasis. Through a partnership with Scholastic, the foundation has been able to provide over 1,000 books to each Discovery Den. DJ successfully launched his 10th den this past week.
TE Travis Kelce – 87 and Running
87 and Running's mission is to empower and enrich the lives of disadvantaged youth. The foundation targets young people's potential through education, business, arts, science and athletics. It strives to provide these children much needed resources and guidance so they can be caring and productive members of society. Kelce hosts the annual Walk the Walk Charity Fashion show which pairs professional athletes and local Operation Breakthrough youth walking the runaway to raise funds for the foundation.
WR Jeremy Maclin – JMac Gives Back
The mission of the organization is to provide opportunities through charitable and educational efforts to kids in alternative living situations. This past Mother's Day, JMac Gives Back teamed up with Operation Breakthrough, a Kansas City non-profit, to give nine deserving Kansas City single moms a Mother's Day that they will never forget. Maclin asked local students to write a letter nominating their mother for the event and awarded the women and their children with a stadium tour which included several surprises throughout.
CB Marcus Peters – Fam 1st Family Foundation
Fam 1st Family Foundation is dedicated to uplifting and empowering youth in the Bay Area and throughout the United States. The foundation's mission is one of empowerment and education, aiming to build self-esteem and academic learning skills in underprivileged youth. Peters regularly mentors disadvantaged youth and helps facilitate youth football camps back in his hometown of Oakland, Cal. with Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch.
QB Alex Smith – The Alex Smith Foundation
The Alex Smith Foundation provides foster teens with the tools and resources needed to transition to successful adulthood by developing and promoting mentoring, education, housing, internship, job, and advocacy programs. Success has been found through the foundation's Guardian Scholars program, which not only provides a scholarship but also year-round housing and extensive individual guidance and support. In all, 23 former foster youth have graduated from San Diego State University, with a 78% graduation rate, significantly besting the national rate of 3% for foster youth. This success even convinced San Diego State to replicate it, affording another 205 foster graduates. Outside of the Guardian Scholars program, The Alex Smith Foundation partners with several other businesses in Kansas City to provide care to foster care youth including Minsky's Pizza and Cornerstones of Care.
WR Albert Wilson – The Albert Wilson Foundation
The Albert Wilson Foundation is committed to creating opportunities that will enhance the lives of youth in foster care. The Albert Wilson Foundation wants to change the destiny of foster children and break the cycle of abuse, neglect and abandonment. It strives to support youth during their transition in and out of foster care. Its goal is to provide scholarships to those wishing to continue their education outside the state of Florida, in addition to rewarding youth who continue to excel in the classroom and extracurricular, despite all obstacles and circumstances.
To learn more about the *My Cause My Cleats *campaign, visit www.nfl.com/mycausemycleats.