During the month of December, the Browns Give Back team celebrated a Month of Giving through various events.
My Cause, My Cleats
The NFL's My Cause My Cleats program allows players to reveal their passions beyond the game and wear their hearts on their feet through customized cleats. Players have the opportunity to pick a cause that is important to them and represent their chosen organization on fully customizable cleats. This season, the Browns activated My Cause My Cleats during Week 13 on the road versus the Los Angeles Rams on Dec. 3, where 37 players and coaches participated in the meaningful initiative.
Cleveland Browns Staff Giving Tree
In partnership with the Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services, Browns staff members participated in their annual Giving Tree returning over 300 gifts for 173 foster children in Cuyahoga County.
The Littlest Heroes Adopt a Family
Through the generosity of Browns players, coaches and their wives, 13 families were adopted through The Littlest Heroes Adopt a Family program. The Littlest Heroes provides emergency financial support for families battling pediatric cancer and other childhood illnesses.
2023 OHSAA Football State Championships
To celebrate the talent in Northeast Ohio, the Browns highlighted seven high school football teams from Northeast Ohio who made their way to Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in the hopes of taking home a state title, including St. Edward (I), Archbishop Hoban (II), Washington Massillon (II), Glenville (IV), Perry (V), Kirtland (VI) and Dalton (VII). To celebrate these teams, the Browns were onsite for each game posting in game scores, highlights and additional game moments on social media platforms.
To congratulate the winning teams, athletes from each State Championship team were invited to the Dec.17 Play Football theme game to hold the flag during the National Anthem. During the game, teams received additional recognition on the scoreboard.
To read more about the OHSAA Football State Championships, click here.
JumpStart Impact Showcase
The graduating cohort of JumpStart's Small Business Impact Showcase presented to a panel of judges, including Anthony Walker Jr. and Rodney McLeod, with the grand prize winner, Brittany McNeal of Memories by Bee, receiving $10,000 to help cover costs for their business. Through the Browns partnership, over 30 businesses have been supported.
Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year
Anthony Walker Jr.'s continuous efforts in the Northeast Ohio community were recognized through his nomination for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide. It is the league's most prestigious honor and acknowledges NFL players who excel on the field and demonstrate a passion for creating a lasting positive impact beyond the game in their communities. Walker is the first-ever Stay in the Game! Attendance Network ambassador, and is passionate about the social justice space. Through both the Walter Payton Man of the Year Charity Challenge and AllTroo, fans have the opportunity to vote for Walker to help him raise money for Stay in the Game!
Deck the House
The Browns supported Providence House, the Cleveland Browns Courage House, through auctions at their annual Deck the House event. Browns offensive tackle Jack Conklin and his wife, Caitlyn, served as honorary co-chairs of the event. Anthony Walker Jr. was awarded this year's Ed Block Courage Award, as voted on by his teammates. The Ed Block Courage Award is given annually to a member of each of the 32 NFL teams who best exemplifies the qualities of Ed Block – the former head athletic trainer of the Baltimore Colts – based on courage, compassion, commitment and community. Conklin and Walker were joined by teammates Wyatt Teller and Ethan Pocic and Browns leadership at the event.
Stay in the Game! Visit to East CLC in Akron
Stay in the Game! Attendance Network and Browns alum Josh Cribbs visited Akron Public Schools for a goal-setting activity with middle and high schoolers from East CLC. During the visit, the Arby's Foundation awarded the Browns Foundation a $100,000 grant and students received lunch courtesy of Arby's.
To read more, click here.
First and Ten Toy Drive
The Browns partnered with the local US Marine Corps Reserve to host their annual First and Ten Toy Drive during their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Dec. 10, collecting over $20,000 worth of toys and monetary donations. The Browns thank our incredible fans and their commitment to giving back to Northeast Ohio to make this annual event a success.
Browns rookies hosted a 'Rookie Takeover' in partnership with RISE for scholar high school football athletes from Maple Heights City Schools, where they received a tour of the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus and engaged in conversations on leadership, education and more. The students were chosen based on good attendance through the Stay in the Game! Network. RISE is a national nonprofit that educates and empowers the sports community to eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice and improve race relations.
Cleveland Browns High School Coach of the Year
As the Cleveland Browns celebrated Play Football at their home game against the Jaguars on Dec. 10, they had a special surprise pregame. The Browns brought Canton South High School football coach Matt Dennison onto the field and announced him as the Browns High School Coach of the Year. Then Ohio Cat President Ken Taylor presented Dennison with the certificate – which was signed by Executive Vice President of Football Operations and GM Andrew Berry and HC Kevin Stefanski – honoring him as the High School Coach of the Year. Ohio Cat serves as the presenting partner for High School Game of the Week during the high school football season. The Browns, in partnership with the NFL, OhioCat and ForeverLawn, awarded Coach Dennison of Canton South High School with $5,000 towards improving health and safety for his high school football program.
Throughout the high school football season, $25,000 was distributed to 10 teams across Northeast Ohio as a part of the High School Coach of the Week program.
To read more about Dennison, click here.
Maurice Hurst II Gym Class Takeover
DT Maurice Hurst II hosted a 'Gym Class Takeover' as part of the Browns Flag In-Schools program and the Stay In The Game! Network, which included an all-school assembly followed by a flag football clinic for the top 60 students with the highest or improved school attendance. This clinic offered hands-on instruction, football skills stations, contests and non-contact games in a high energy environment. Additionally, United Airlines helped to surprised one educator with tickets to the Browns vs. Bears game on Dec. 17.
Cleveland Muny Football League - Helmet Giveaway
The Cleveland Browns invited seven teams from the Cleveland Muny Football League to CrossCountry Mortgage Campus for a season ending pizza party, followed by a surprise with a helmet giveaway. Browns TE David Njoku helped surprise the team with 100 custom Xenith helmets through the Browns HELMETS program presented by Meijer and in association with University Hospitals and Xenith. HELMETS aims to advance player health and safety and Cleveland Muny was selected as the 2023 Youth Football Organization, Community Recipient.
Chomps visits Lorain City Schools
As recognition for their commitment to education and attendance, Chomps visited Lorain City Schools for a Winter Wonderland event to celebrate the season with students and families.
Browns All-Team Adopt-A-Family
Browns players provided holiday gifts for 30 students from CMSD's Project ACT and youth residing in temporary emergency shelters, transitional housing and doubled-up students staying with other families due to loss of housing, economic hardship or similar situations. Students enjoyed practice, followed by a holiday party where they received gifts!
Rodney McLeod Meijer Fill-a-Cart
S Rodney McLeod helped spread the holiday cheer, inviting 20 families to Meijer to shop for gifts and essentials, with each family receiving $500 to spend. CB Greg Newsome II joined McLeod for his annual event, which is hosted by his Change Our Futures Foundation.
Myles Garrett Gives Back with Word Church
DE Myles Garret, in collaboration with the Word Church hosted Word Mart 2023 – A Winter Wonderland for Kids. Word Mart 2023 is a festive event designed to bring joy and blessings to hundreds of children in need this holiday season. Families in attendance had the opportunity to enjoy free toys, clothes, coats, shoes, food as well as a meet and greet with Garrett.
Joel Bitonio Meijer Shop with a Pro
G Joel Bitonio hosted 40 children from the City of Cleveland for a Shop with a Pro event at Meijer, where children were able to pick out holiday gifts with the help of Browns players and staff. TE Harrison Bryant, G Michael Dunn, OT Joey Fisher, C Ethan Pocic, C Luke Wypler and FB/C Nick Harris joined Bitonio for his annual event.
Martin Emerson Jr. Gym Class Takeover
CB Martin Emerson Jr. hosted a 'Gym Class Takeover' as part of the Browns Flag In-Schools program and the Stay in The Game! Network, which included an all-school assembly followed by a flag football clinic for the top 60 students with the highest or improved school attendance. This clinic offered hands-on instruction, football skills stations, contests and non-contact games in a high energy environment. WR David Bell joined Emerson for the event, helping coach the kids and provide tips.
Stay in the Game! Assembly with Thursday Night Football for GOOD
Stay in the Game! hosted an all-school assembly at General Johnnie Wilson Middle School where students participated in friendly competition to celebrate their commitment to good school attendance. To add to the excitement, four faculty members were surprised with tickets to Browns vs. Jets game on Dec. 28, and Principal Nikole Barfield-Davis was surprised with tickets to Super Bowl LVIII for her dedication to creating a welcoming environment for her students and encouraging them to show up every day ready to learn.
Click here to read more.
Za'Darius Smith Holiday Event
DE Za'Darius Smith partnered with the Olivet Institutional Baptist Church to distribute holiday gifts to over 100 people from the Fairfax community. TE David Njoku and DT Mo Hurst II joined Smith for his event.
Deshaun Watson Christmas Around the World
QB Deshaun Watson invited over 250 kids, coaches and community members to his Christmas Around the World event on Dec. 23. Everyone was able to try foods from around the world, while playing games and creating holiday arts and crafts. All of the children in attendance received gifts and everyone walked away with Browns apparel.
Grant Delpit's 2nd Annual Toy Drive
On Christmas Day, S Grant Delpit invited children and families from the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority to receive gifts, treats, shirts and more. CB Greg Newsome, CB A.J. Green III, and DE Ogbo Okoronkwo were also in attendance, helping Delpit spread the cheer for families this holiday season.
Cleveland Browns Make $25K donation to continue to support UH AEDin3 Initiative
To close out the Month of Giving, the Browns announced late last month that they will be donating $25,000 to University Hospitals' (UH) AEDin3 Initiative. The $25,000 donation will provide AEDs for nine Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) Schools in support of their Senate League football programs in alignment with the Cleveland Browns field project program. These nine programs are supported by the Browns' field projects, which are lined for multiple sports, including but not limited to football and soccer, and serve as a resource to further engage athletes and students in their local communities.
Read more about the donation here.