Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation
Believing that youth represent the community’s future, the Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation is committed to serving the greater Jacksonville area through strategic financial, networking and volunteer support benefiting economically and socially disadvantaged youth and families. By building upon our city’s strengths, we seek to realize the positive potential of our young people in need. In doing so, we aim to serve as a model to other sports franchises.
Celebrating our 15th anniversary, the Foundation awarded more than one million dollars in grants in 2009 to local youth-serving agencies. Total grant making since 1995 is more than $12.9 million dollars. This level of giving is among the top few in professional sports. These grants have helped with long-term solutions to offer hope where there is far too little of it, and improve the lives and futures of economically and socially disadvantaged youth and families in need. We strive to encourage these children to hope for a brighter future and to make the commitment that’s needed to reach their dreams.
The Jaguars Foundation receives one million dollars annually from the team revenue and does not hold fundraising events. The team’s owners, Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver, believe that fund raising events would compete for dollars with the very non-profits that we support. The Foundation also receives strong support from the various departments of the team, including Community Relations, Public Relations/Communications, Sponsorship and Marketing, Human Resources, players and cheerleaders, as well as the in-kind donation of more than 11,000 tickets for charitable use seating annually.
Other Foundation programs include:
- HONOR ROWS®: The nationally acclaimed Honor Rows is a unique program whereby youth earn their seat to a Jaguars home game by setting and achieving goals in the areas of academic improvement, personal behavior, community service, and nutrition and physical fitness. Youth also pledge to remain free from illegal drugs, alcohol and tobacco. The United Way of Northeast Florida mobilizes volunteers to help on game-day. The Jaguars Foundation awards 11,800 Honor Rows and other charitable seats annually worth $430,000. Other recipients include the Sailors Aweigh program for youth whose parents are on deployment in the Navy; HabiJax (Habitat for Humanity’s Jacksonville affiliate) volunteers; and youth football.
- STRAIGHT TALK™: Straight Talk is a unique partnership with the local media, co-sponsor Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, and the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy to help prevent teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections. An annual prime time television town hall forum, “Teens & Sex the Real Truth,” is broadcast each May during National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month. Resource information can be accessed year-round at straighttalk.jacksonville.com. In partnership with the Weaver Family Foundation, more than $2 million in Straight Talk grants has been awarded for programs dealing with this issue.
- CHILDHOOD OBESITY PREVENTION: Getting more active and eating better is at the heart of the What Moves U campaign. Co-sponsor Baptist Health/Wolfson Children’s Hospital and the Jaguars Foundation are partnering to implement the national program by the NFL and American Heart Association at select 6th grade classrooms in Duval County Public Schools and provide more than $500,000 in grants to local nonprofits to reduce/prevent childhood obesity.
- THE JAGUARS OFFICIAL PLAYBOOKS® Reading Program: Through a partnership with Diet Pepsi, the Jacksonville Public Library and the surrounding counties’ local public libraries, this award winning innovative program inspires young people to read. The Official Playbooks booklet features books for children of all ages recommended by the Jaguars owners, Head Coach, players and cheerleaders. It also contains activities for children and tips for parents. Youth can pick-up a copy of Playbooks during the football season at any area public library. Playbooks can also be accessed year-round at www.jaguars.com.
- Additionally, since 2003, through a partnership with the nonprofit FIRST BOOK, major book publishers and local co-sponsors, the Jaguars Foundation has distributed more than 450,000 new children’s books into the homes of low-income families as part of Mayor Peyton’s goal to distribute one million books to Jacksonville’s children.
For more information go to www.jaguars.com/foundation.