Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and wife Kelly have a long-established history of philanthropy in the metro Detroit community. Now the couple are partnering with their alma mater, the University of Georgia, to help launch a social justice program for the school’s athletic department.
The program, as described by the school, will seek to implement strategic initiatives in the areas of diversity, inclusion, equity and social justice.
As part of a larger donation to the school, the Stafford family pledged $350,000 to the social justice program. That will be paired with a $150,000 gift from Georgia’s football coach Kirby Smart and wife Beth to get the program off the ground.
“These gifts will help the Athletic Association educate, implement dynamic programming, and execute service opportunities to achieve our goals, those being to foster critical consciousness, cultural competence and further developing change within the Athletic Association and our greater community,” Georgia director of athletics Greg McGarity wrote in a statement.
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Drafted No. 1 overall by the Lions in 2009, the Stafford family have regularly donated their time and money to causes in the metro Detroit area.
In 2015, Stafford donated $1 million to help renovate an abandoned recreational center to provide athletic and academic opportunities for Detroit’s at-risk youth. And for the past several years, the couple has hand-selected struggling families, shopped for and personally delivered gifts during the Christmas holiday.
Most recently, the Staffords provided meals for frontline workers during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan.