Over 42% of the players in the NFL have graduated from a school with an Uplifting Athletes chapter. When these players make it to the big leagues they often want to give back in the same way they did in college. Some players decide to give back at the NFL Combine.
Uplifting Athletes is a national nonprofit organization aligning college football with rare diseases and raising them as a national priority through outreach, research, education, and advocacy.
What makes Uplifting Athletes unique is that there chapter network is run by current football student-athletes, providing them with an opportunity to gain practical job skills while learning how to leverage their assets and abilities to make a positive and lasting impact.
Each chapter adopts one out of approximately 7,000 rare diseases (such as MS, ALS, cystic fibrosis, pancreatic cancer, etc.) – giving the football student-athletes an opportunity to make the cause relevant to them. There are currently 25 chapters at different universities throughout the United States.
NFL Combine Reps for Research
Jesse James, the former Penn State TE and Director of Marketing for the Uplifting Athletes Penn State Chapter, ran a "Reps For Research" campaign in conjunction with the NFL Combine where every bench press rep he did raised funds for the Penn State Chapter and kidney cancer research – the chosen rare disease of the PSU Chapter.
In total, he raised $5,461 for kidney cancer research and did a total of 26 reps at 225 pounds. His goal for the campaign was $5,000. His 26 reps tied James for the second most of any tight end at the combine this year. But more importantly, it was a way for him to keep giving back and support his friends on the leadership team of the Penn State Chapter.
“PLDGIT is fun and easy to setup. Our charity was able to increase our revenue by 10% with only 16 fundraiser campaigns!” Becky Mayes, Chapter Manager at Uplifting Athletes
From 2013 to 2014, Uplifting Athletes was able to increase their new fundraising tool ultimately contributed to a 19% increase in total revenue from 2013 to 2014.
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