(Berea) - Browns players recently celebrated the start of Breaking New Ground’s first home renovation with Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry (LMM), the recent beneficiary of a $100,000 team contribution as a reflection of the NFL’s Inspire Change movement.
The donation is comprised of personal donations made by Browns players, as well as contributions from the team through its focus on supporting social justice causes.
Breaking New Ground, LMM’s Affordable Housing Initiative, will help provide affordable and stable housing for families exiting homelessness, particularly those who are impacted by the criminal justice system. The organization’s innovative rental model is structured through the purchasing and renovation of up to 20 homes in the St. Clair-Superior neighborhood, supported by affordable rents and connections to support services to families in need.
“It means a lot to me to be part of this organization, first and foremost,” said LB Christian Kirksey. “Back home, you see a lot of people who are homeless and you always want to be a part of the change and you always want to help out whenever you can.
“Everybody has to have a helping hand, regardless of your profession and regardless of what you do,” Kirksey added. “We are all a community, we are all a city and everybody plays their part. With the Browns, everybody sees us on Sunday and sees us trying to score touchdowns, make tackles and win games, but we are also out in the community and trying to be a part of the people because at the end of the day, we are all people.”
The team’s $100,000 contribution came as Day 6 of the Browns Give Back’s “10 Days of Giving.” Throughout “10 Days of Giving,” spanning Dec. 8-17, Browns players, coaches and staff are hosting community events and making special contributions to various organizations during the holiday season.
Meanwhile, as part of the NFL’s My Cause, My Cleats campaign, more than 20 Browns players designed custom cleats to raise awareness for initiatives that have a personal meaning to each individual. Players will have the opportunity to wear the cleats during Week 14 when the Browns host the Cincinnati Bengals.
The My Cause, My Cleats initiative, launched in 2016, is a culmination of collaborative work between the NFL and players across the league through which more than 800 players plan to raise awareness for philanthropic organizations and movements by wearing unique cleats.
Additionally, Browns alumnus LT Joe Thomas, currently an NFL Network analyst, will join the NFL GameDay Kickoff team in creating custom cleats as part of the initiative. Thomas – who has been a strong advocate for local educational initiatives since being selected by Cleveland in 2007 – chose to highlight the Cleveland Browns Foundation’s “Get 2 School, Stay in the Game!” Network, a statewide initiative designed to promote the importance of school attendance and put an end to chronic absenteeism.
(Photos by Ken Robinson/WTAM)
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