For the second straight year, Chris Long is taking money out of his own paycheck and putting it in the community's pocket.
After Philadelphia Eagles defensive end announced through his foundation Friday that he will use a quarter of his 2018 salary to launch "First Quarter for Literacy," a program meant to "put more books into the hands of children in underserved neighborhoods" and "build excitement and awareness around the role parents and caregivers play in raising leaders."to charity, the
Long and his wife, Megan, will also distribute more than 25,000 books to children in underserved areas as part of the program. Those books, per Long's foundation, will be used "to build at-home libraries, as well as fund the creation of six Chris Long Book Nooks that serve as neighborhood-based reading areas for families."
After taxes, Long's own contribution to the program comes out to about $400,000, as ESPN reported. But he's also said he will match donations up to $25,000 from any player on an opposing road team this season. Those added donations will help distribute books to other teams' cities. For example, former Eagles defensive tackle Beau Allen played Philadelphia in Week 2 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and has donated $5,000, meaning an additional $10,000 worth of children's books will go to the Tampa community as part of the "First Quarter for Literacy" drive.
"Megan and I read to our son every day, and we can't stand the thought that there are kids right here in Philadelphia and nationwide that don't have books at home," Long said through his foundation. "Our goal since last year has been to do what we can to level the playing field for all kids through education. It is clear that ensuring kids are strong early readers by providing books and educating parents is where we can make a meaningful difference right away."
In 2017, the Longs used Chris' $1-million base salary to pay for six West Virginia-area school scholarships and fuel "Pledge 10 for Tomorrow," a 10-week program raising money for educational programs in Philadelphia, St. Louis and other cities.