In April, the Browns launched the "Hats Off to Our Heroes" Fund, focused on aiding health care professionals, first responders, educational professionals and other groups who are pivotal in the community year round and who now continue to serve as role models in the face of significant adversity due to COVID-19. For a significant period of time, the team committed 100 percent of its net proceeds from the 2020 Browns jersey sales at FirstEnergy Stadium's Pro Shop, in partnership with Legends, and online through Fanatics to the "Hats Off to Our Heroes" Fund after the new uniforms were revealed on April 15.
During Sunday's Week 17 home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Browns formally recognized the beneficiaries of the "Hats Off to Our Heroes" Fund, which accounts for more than $100,000 in donations.
Maple Heights School District ($60,000)
The donation to Maple Heights City Schools will be used to support educators by breaking down barriers to learning caused by the digital divide. The funds will allow more local students to be present and engaged in their online education by providing necessary devices and technology required to access instruction and complete their schoolwork. Maple Heights is one of the Browns' "Stay in the Game! Keep Learning, Every Day!" Network partner school districts. The Stay in the Game! Network aims to prioritize attendance by connecting its users to resources targeted at tackling chronic absenteeism. During the 2020-21 school, the organization has partnered with 14 school districts to support intensive student attendance initiatives, resulting in increased student attendance benefitting nearly 90,000 students.
University Hospitals COVID-19 Caregiver Support Fund ($21,500)
The University Hospitals COVID-19 Caregiver Support Fund will use the donation to help support services and resources aimed at providing comfort, compassion, special recognition and relief to UH caregivers as they attend to the health and wellness of the community at this vital time. "University Hospitals is honored to be a beneficiary of the Cleveland Browns' generosity. Our partnership with the Browns organization is a valued part of our commitment to the community we serve. Thank you for recognizing the valiant efforts of our caregivers. We will honor them as stewards of your generous gift," said Cliff A. Megerian, MD, FACS University Hospitals President. As the longstanding official healthcare partner of the Cleveland Browns, the team is proud to support University Hospitals' fight against the pandemic on the frontlines. As COVID-19 cases continue to spike, the Browns are thankful to UH for their continued efforts in keeping Cleveland safe and healthy.
Medworks Unconditional Care COVID-19 Relief Fund ($21,500)
Medworks is a Cleveland nonprofit organization that provides high-quality medical, dental, vision and mental health services 100 percent free of charge to lower income individuals and families who struggle to afford health care. When the pandemic began, Medworks started the Unconditional Care COVID-19 Relief Fund and used the funding to send meals to hospitals and frontline healthcare workers, and secured meal gift cards from local restaurants and grocers. Medworks raised more than $90,00, delivering more than 10,000 meals across Greater Cleveland. Now nearly a year later, the organization will use the Browns funding to expand these efforts. "We plan to use this money to deliver both free health care and health insurance assistance to people in need and provide food relief, again via local restaurants and grocers," says Jennifer Andress, Medworks' Executive Director. "The focus will be on essential workers and their families—those who've kept our community going—healthcare facility workers; emergency responders; school staff; grocery workers; retail and hospitality staff; transportation professionals; cleaning staff; manufacturers; mechanics; and more."
These incredible funds raised reflect the passion of our fans, as these efforts would not have been possible without them. They are committed to helping Northeast Ohio continue the fight against COVID-19. The Browns thank our fans and these organizations for all they have done to support frontline workers throughout the pandemic.