As part of the NFL's "Inspire Change" Initiative, Buffalo Bills players will be on hand to donate $170,000 to six local youth programs on Monday, May 6. A total of $212,000 was raised from players, staff and ownership to fund social justice initiatives that were chosen by the player community leadership committee. Last Thanksgiving, $42,000 was donated to the Food Bank of Western New York as part of the team's annual Thanksgiving Blitz.
In conjunction with the initiative, Bills players will participate in a variety of visits throughout the Buffalo community on Monday to engage in different programs benefiting education advancement, as well as present donations from funds raised through the Bills social justice initiative. Programs include Bornhava, The Belle Center, Lt. Col. Matt Urban Human Services of WNY, The Boys and Girls Clubs of Buffalo, and Buffalo-Area Engineering Awareness for Minorities and Gloria J. Parks.
The donation to Bornhava will fund a new music and movement program with 142 children across 10 classrooms once a week for 28 weeks, beginning mid-September 2019 and ending mid-June 2020. Sessions will be offered in the 5 classrooms at the main Amherst location, and in the 5 community-based integrated classrooms.
The donation to the Belle Center will support a new youth mentoring program for students in grades 6 - 12. The program will bring in role models of successful men and women as mentors to ultimately help increase Hispanic and African American graduation rates in the City of Buffalo.
The donation to the Lt. Col. Matt Urban Human Services Center of WNY will aid the program's goal to engage children in specific sport opportunities in 5 separate after-school programs, serving 85 children. Working with the Police Athletic League and The First Tee, children in grades 3 -5 will try golf, bowling, tennis and other sports.
With the funds to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Buffalo, club members will participate in a social-emotional wellness program that promotes positive behavior and healthy relationships. In participating in the program, youth will gain skills in self-regulation, behavioral management, and teamwork.
The Buffalo-Area Engineering Awareness for Minorities program will use the funds in weekly activities during the school year, and in summer programming, to connect students with experts in a range of engineering fields.
The University District Community Development Association located at the Gloria J. Parks Community Center's overall goal with the funds is to substantially increase the reading skills of inner city children in grades first through eighth in after school program who suffer with reading aptitude deficits of at least one full grade level, by using small group and individual tutoring based on a high quality, data-based curriculum.
For more information on the NFL's Inspire Change initiative, please click here.