How 13 Eagles players give back to the community

This is a team worth cheering for in the Super Bowl.

NFL: NFC Championship-Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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In the week before the Eagles’ Super Bowl LII appearance, the entire region is swooning over the home team. With good reason.

Making it to their first championship in 13 years is impressive, but it’s not just sports fans who should cheer the Birds. Many Eagles players have chosen to take their hefty salaries — on average, NFL players make more than $2 million per year — and use the money to start their own foundations or donate to various charities.

Here’s a rundown of how some members of the Eagles have given back to the community.

Carson Wentz

Quarterback, 25 years old
Philanthropy via: AO1 Foundation
How it helps: The Wentz-founded organization provides underprivileged youth with food, shelter and education; provides outdoor opportunities for veterans and the physically challenged; and provides service dogs to those in need.
Even more: Wentz also donated $120,000 to Canine Partners for Life after a bet with Jake Elliot about making a 61-yard, game-winning field goal.

Nick Foles

Quarterback, 29 years old
Philanthropy via: University of Arizona
How it helps: Foles donated $250,000 in June 2016 to build a new academic center at his alma mater. The new facility will provide amenities for student-athletes, including tutor rooms, study areas and a computer lab.

Lane Johnson

Offensive tackle, 27 years old
Philanthropy via: LJ65 Clothing Line
How it helps: All proceeds from the Johnson-owned sports fashion label are donated to The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia.
Even more: After the NFL copied Johnson and Chris Long’s “underdog” shirt, the teammates convinced the league to donate its profits to Philly schools, too.

Malcolm Jenkins

Safety, 30 years old
Philanthropy via: The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation
How it helps: The foundation helps sustain football programs in underserved communities in states like New Jersey, Ohio and Louisiana.
Even more: Last year, Jenkins won the Byron “Whizzer” White Award for community service — the “highest honor the NFLPA can bestow on a player” for service. The award included a $100,000 donation to his foundation. Jenkins is also a prominent member of the Players Coalition, a group of NFL players seeking to work with league owners and local communities on behalf of underserved residents.

Torrey Smith

Wide receiver, 29 years old
Philanthropy via: Torrey Smith Family Fund
How it helps: Smith’s organization institutes programming to help disadvantaged young people. In the past, the family fund has donated school supplies to low-income elementary school students and hosted leadership summits for high school boys.

Trey Burton

Tight end, 26 years old
Philanthropy via: The Philadelphia Children’s Alliance support
How it helps: Burton endorsed the Give 5 to PCA campaign, which encouraged fans to give $5 to match Burton’s initial donation toward resources for child sexual abuse survivors.

Vinny Curry

Defensive lineman, 29 years old
Philanthropy via: A Marshall University scholarship
How it helps: At his alma mater, Curry funds a $200,000 student-athlete scholarship in the name of his mother, who died of cancer in his senior season in 2011.

Chris Long

Defensive end, 32 years old
Philanthropy via: Four educational equality organizations
How it helps: Long donated his 2017 salary to educational outreach programs in St. Louis, Boston and Philadelphia — the three cities he’s played for in his 10-year career with the NFL.
Even more: Long also launched a campaign called Pledge 10 for Tomorrow, which encouraged fans to donate too. At the outset, Long promised he’d donate an extra $50,000 to the city that raised the most money for the campaign (congrats, St. Louis).

Zach Ertz

Tight end, 27 years old
Philanthropy via: Whitman Park Youth Football donation
How it helps: In November, Ertz bought 295 pieces of sporting equipment (approximately $15,000 worth of gear) for the Camden, New Jersey after-school program. In years past, the org had to turn away nearly 100 kids because their parents couldn’t afford equipment.
Even more: For every touchdown he scores, Zach Ertz donates an additional $250 to the TouchDDowns for Kids program, which provides donations to youth sports organizations.

Rodney McLeod

Safety, 27 years old
Philanthropy via: Food Bank of Delaware
How it helps: With help from the food bank, McLeod teamed up with a Wilmington, Delaware Food Lion in November 2016 to donate 200 bags of food to help families prepare their Thanksgiving dinners.  

Nelson Agholor

Wide receiver, 24 years old
Philanthropy via: Steppingstone Scholars
How it helps: In August 2015, Agholor donated 100 backpacks to Philly students in partnership with the education nonprofit, which provides academic enrichment programs to help Philly students reach higher education, and ACME Markets.

Wendell Smallwood

Running back, 24 years old
Philanthropy via: Holiday outreach in Wilmington, Delaware
How it helps: Smallwood helped pay the bills and buy some holiday presents for single mothers in his hometown in December 2017.
Even more: He’s hoping to make this one-time donation an annual event in Wilmington, calling it “Smallwood’s Christmas Give-A-Way.”

Fletcher Cox

Defensive tackle, 27 years old
Philanthropy via: Philadelphia Police Foundation fundraiser
How it helps: Earlier this month, the Philadelphia Police Foundation named Cox a co-chair of its second annual Night for Blue event, which will benefit the foundation’s mission to fulfill police equipment needs not covered by the city. In April, Cox donated $100,000 to the foundation.