Community Connection: Larry Fitzgerald opens up about family, philanthropy and fatherhood

Posted at 10:38 AM, Aug 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-03 13:41:15-04

Larry Fitzgerald has used his visibility as an NFL player to support several charitable initiatives, raise money for charity, and inspire others to give. He understands that his visibility as a professional athlete brings with it a responsibility to give back to the community.

In addition to his extensive volunteer activities, and direct donations to charities, in 2005 Larry established The Larry Fitzgerald First Down Fund.

The First Down Fund has two priorities:
1) promoting reading proficiency and technology access for K-12 youth as cornerstones to success at school and in life, and

2) supporting efforts to prevent and cure breast cancer and support breast cancer survivors.

The First Down Fund has provided funding for computers, books, chess tournaments, and playgrounds for youth. Annually The First Down Fund makes a donation to Plano Child Development Center, which provides vision care to children who otherwise would not have access to it. Plano was founded by Larry's late grandfather, Dr. Robert Johnson. In addition, every year the First Down Fund makes grants to breast cancer organizations for activities such as research, support groups, and free mammograms. The First Down Fund primarily funds organizations in Arizona and Minnesota but has also funded organizations elsewhere in the country.

Larry looks for ways to increase the impact of his charitable work by teaming up with others. Earlier this year Larry teamed up with Microsoft to provide Surface technology to a group of schools in Minneapolis so the students can make use of the best technology in the classroom as well as a portable library of tablet devices for students to checkout and use at home. In the past Larry has worked with other private and public partners to increase the impact of his work in the community.

To date in 2018 The Larry Fitzgerald First Down Fund has made grants totaling over three hundred thousand dollars to organizations with demonstrated success closing the reading and technology gap and organizations serving breast cancer survivors. The First Down Fund will make grants totaling at least six hundred thousand dollars this year.

Larry knows he has a responsibility to give back to the community. In the process he has been honored to be involved in powerful and inspiring work.

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