PHILADELPHIA, PA (December 20, 2019) – Fred’s Footsteps, a nonprofit organization providing financial support to families caring for a seriously ill, injured, or disabled child, today announced a $100,000 gift from Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman Malik Jackson. This gift is one of the largest gifts by an individual to the organization since its founding 15 years ago.
“We are truly blown away by Malik’s generosity,” said Christine DiBona Lobley, Executive Director of Fred’s Footsteps. “This gift will enable us to support 14 families in need this month alone and will be transformative for many other families in the region who are struggling while caring for a medically fragile child. We couldn’t be more grateful to Malik and his family for this extraordinary contribution.”
The father of two young children, Jackson was looking to make a significant impact on families in the Philadelphia community – particularly those who need extra support this holiday season. After being connected to Fred’s Footsteps through the Eagles Care partnership, he was moved by their stories and compelled to get involved. The season-long strategic partnership enables three nonprofit partners (Fred’s Footsteps, Food Moxie, and Women Against Abuse) to leverage the Eagles attention, support, and resources to increase their impact on the Philadelphia community.
“As a parent, your only thought is for your children,” said Jackson. “I was instantly drawn to Fred’s Footsteps because of their ability to leave a lasting impact on families and the opportunity to help those in need – especially at this time of year.”
A portion of Jackson’s contribution will be used to meet the immediate needs of 14 Fred’s Footsteps families this month, covering non-medical costs such as rent, mortgage, utilities, insurance and more. The funds will ease their burden and allow these Philadelphia parents to focus solely on their children’s health and wellbeing during the holidays and beyond. The remainder of the gift will be used for families in 2020.
Jackson was signed by the Eagles during the 2019 offseason following a three-year stint with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2016-18). Originally a 5th-round draft choice by the Denver Broncos in 2012, Jackson was a key member of Denver’s Super Bowl 50-winning defense. He was also named to the Pro Bowl in 2017 after ranking 5th among NFL defensive tackles with a career-high 8.0 sacks.
Since 2005, Fred’s Footsteps has provided $6 million in support to nearly 1,000 families in the Philadelphia region. Through the support of their partners, the organization provides direct financial support ranging from non-medical expenses such as household bills, to one-time extraordinary expenses like medical equipment or home modifications.
The Eagles Care initiative, built off of the belief that strong non-profits build strong communities, connects the Eagles with local charitable organizations and works to strengthen each partner’s impact in the community. Now in its seventh year, the Eagles Care network has seen exponential growth thanks in large part to the positive results it has had on the region. At the end of the season, each non-profit partner becomes an extension of the Eagles Care family where they continue to work closely with the Eagles on community outreach events, while utilizing their strengths to assist future Eagles Care partners.
About Fred’s Footsteps
Fred’s Footsteps is a nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance to Philadelphia-area families who find themselves in a financial crisis when a child is seriously ill, injured or disabled. Fred’s Footsteps was created in 2005 in memory of Fred DiBona, Jr., former President and CEO of Independence Blue Cross and a well-respected community and business leader for more than three decades. In his name, the organization follows in his footsteps to offer a much-needed bridge of financial support to hard-working families so that their child’s health can be their only worry. The organization has provided $6 million in support to 1,000 families in the Philadelphia region. Support covers non-medical expenses such as mortgages, utilities, necessary home or car modifications, medical equipment not covered by insurance, and more. For additional information, visit www.fredsfootsteps.org.
About the Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles are a National Football League franchise representing the NFC East Division. Established on July 8, 1933, the club was originally purchased by a group led by Bert Bell who moved the Frankford Yellow Jackets to Philadelphia and renamed them the Eagles. Now owned by Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie, the Eagles are regarded as one of the league’s storied franchises, having appeared in three Super Bowls, winning three NFL Championships, capturing the Lombardi Trophy at Super Bowl LII and featuring 15 Pro Football Hall of Famers. Since 2003, Lincoln Financial Field has been home to the Eagles, a state-of-the-art venue in South Philadelphia that serves as a prime destination for world-class entertainment. Spearheaded by Lurie, the Eagles Autism Challenge is the club’s signature fundraising event that annually raises millions of dollars for innovative autism research and programs. For more information, visit www.PhiladelphiaEagles.com.