Emmanuel Sanders has been named the Week 3 NFLPA Community MVP after he announced the relaunch of his charitable foundation in Buffalo at the Harriet Ross Tubman School and personally donated $20,000 to his foundation's cause of supporting children from financially disadvantaged families.
"I am honored to be named the NFLPA Community MVP for relaunching my foundation and working to make an impact in the Buffalo community," Sanders said.
On September 21, just six months after signing to play for the Buffalo Bills, Sanders began making his mark in his new team city by visiting Harriet Ross Tubman School. He kicked off the visit by announcing his foundation's relaunch through his own generous donation. From there, the 12th-year veteran spent the day meeting with various groups of students to impart the importance of his foundation's three pillars – mentorship, education and healthy living.
This month also saw Sanders become a spokesperson for Field & Fork Network, which works to enhance local food systems by connecting fresh, healthy food to communities in need. The organization's Double Up Food Bucks New York program provides SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) shoppers with a dollar-for-dollar match to purchase fruits and vegetables. Sanders will work with the group to address healthy eating, food access and child hunger.
"When I entered the NFL, I knew I wanted to give back because so many people gave back to me when I was growing up," Sanders said. "Along with the other Community MVPs, the mission of my foundation will offer support and opportunities for many deserving kids."
Originally launched in 2017 in Denver, The Emmanuel Sanders Foundation has a mission to provide children that come from financially disadvantaged backgrounds with the resources and support to reach their full potential and attain a better life. That same year, Sanders earned Community MVP honors for the first time after hosting a two-week winter clothing, book and toy drive for disadvantaged children in the Denver area.
Since then, the Texas native has continued to serve the communities within his home state and various team cities. In 2017, he purchased 10,000 diapers and, with the help of his Broncos teammates, donated $40,000 to support those affected by Hurricane Harvey. In 2018, he launched Emmanuel's Locker at Kepner Beacon Middle School in Denver, which had been affected by budget cuts to its after-school sports programs. The program was created to help those children who may not be able to afford sporting equipment. He followed this up by opening his second Emmanuel's Locker in 2019 at McGlone Academy in Denver.
In honor of Sanders being named this week's Community MVP, the NFLPA will make a $10,000 contribution to his charity or foundation of choice. Our supporting partner, Aldine Sports Association, will create customized T-shirts and hoodies featuring his unique Community MVP superhero illustration made by HEARTLENT Group. The apparel will be sold on ASA's website during the season, with a portion of all proceeds going to Sanders's foundation or charity of choice.
Sanders, along with the other 2021 Community MVPs, will become eligible for this year's Alan Page Community Award, which is the highest honor that the NFLPA can bestow upon a player.
The Community MVP campaign is part of the NFLPA's continued efforts to support the year-round, civic outreach and engagement of its player members. Please visit the NFLPA Community MVP website to learn more about the program.