Detroit Lions Spotlight

Detroit Lions Community


Detroit Lions Charities supports transformational efforts in underserved communities, working to create long-lasting impact through meaningful partnerships with local non-profits. Throughout the year, the Detroit Lions work to raise awareness and funding for these organizations, prioritizing critical needs in the community, with an emphasis on youth development, access and opportunity and social justice initiatives in Detroit. 

As part of the NFL’s Inaugural Inspire Change Social Justice Initiative, Detroit Lions players, coaches and the Ford family have committed an initial $600,000 toward the launch of a multi-year social justice initiative in the City of Detroit. Funds will be directed to organizations and programs determined by players and will put into action the important concerns and discussions surrounding social justice in Detroit.

🏈 Crucial Catch:

Throughout October, the Lions host on-field, in-stadium and community events to shine a light on multiple cancers and provide meaningful experiences for patients and caregivers impacted by the disease. An NFL initiative that has raised more than $18 million since inception to support cancer initiatives across the country. Crucial Catch focuses on education, early detection, and screening. 

🏈 Salute to Service:

Salute to Service is an NFL initiative designed to honor, empower and connect with our nation’s service members and their families. Through partnerships with local nonprofits and military bases, the Lions host and participate in a variety of initiatives for service members, veterans, and families of the fallen to provide support, express gratitude, and foster community. 

NFL PLAY 60 is a national youth health and fitness campaign focused on increasing the wellness of young fans by encouraging them to be active for at least 60 minutes per day. In partnership with the league, and as a commitment to fostering a healthier next generation, the Lions host events throughout the year promoting nutrition and an active lifestyle. 

Comprised of the spouses of players, coaches and front office personnel, as well as female staff members, the Detroit Lions Women’s Association (DLWA) supports organizations working in andaround Metro-Detroit. Each year, DLWA engages in service projects together, specifically focusing on youth, hunger and community development. 

During the 2019 season, DLWA members took middle school students on a field trip to an apple orchard, packed 800 bags of food for Blessings in a Backpack, donated 50 Thanksgiving baskets to COTS families, and provided more than 750 gifts to students at Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary-Middle School. 

🏈 Touchdown In Your Town:

To foster safe play and a love of football, the Detroit Lions launched the Touchdown in Your Town program in 2019. During the inaugural year of the program, the Lions hosted five local high schools at their youth football camp locations and surprised them with grant funding, Riddell Speed Flex helmets, and chocolate milk grants from the United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM). In 2020, in partnership with Kroger, an application process was launched, with schools from across the state invited to submit for support. Six high schools were selected and given equipment and field grant funding, as well as Riddell Speed Flex Helmets and UDIM chocolate milk grants. Since inception, Touchdown in Your Town has distributed more than $400,000 in resources. 

🏈 Season of Sharing:

In partnership with Meijer, every year during the holiday season, the Detroit Lions give back to the local community through events that ensure underserved families are able to experience the holidays in a special way. To kick off the Season of Sharing, families from children’s organizations are invited to Ford Field for a Thanksgiving dinner served by Lions players. In 2019, Lions players, families, staff, Cheer and Roary surprised over 675 students at Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary-Middle School with holiday gifts. Finally, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of December, children from Detroit Lions Academy and Orchards Children’s Services visited Meijer for a shopping spree, purchasing gifts for family and friends that they may not have otherwise been able to buy. 

Lilley Kroll

Lilley Kroll

Sports Philanthropy Network

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