For months, as the COVID-19 pandemic sickened hundreds of thousands around the country and forced even more out of work, Jarvis Landry has mulled how he can best use his platform to help those in need.
The result came to fruition Wednesday, as the Browns Pro Bowl wide receiver launched the Jarvis Landry Building Winners Foundation, a non-profit "dedicated to positively impacting the lives of children and families facing socio-economic disparities and/or chronic health conditions."
"I know that 2020 has been heavy so far," Landry posted in a Wednesday announcement on his social media platforms.
"I'm trying to bear the weight of it all, too. Figuring out how to process the complexities of a global pandemic, racism, racial injustice and an economic crisis all at once is tough. I've spent a lot of time self-reflecting these past few months. How do we fix this? How do we fight for a better future? Reevaluating my role in the communities that made me and continue to shape me. No longer where can I help — but how can I lead?"
Landry wrote the mission of the foundation will be to "empower, engage and excite our communities through a variety of life-changing programs, special events and charitable initiatives" in Greater Cleveland, Miami and New Orleans. Landry grew up in Louisiana, spent his first four NFL seasons with the Dolphins and is entering his third year with the Browns.
Landry acknowledged the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will prevent the foundation from putting on its events this summer but the hope is to be out in the community as soon as possible.
"In the meantime, my team and I will be working around the clock to establish alternate programs that best fit the times," Landry wrote.
Landry has been active and engaged in a number of community initiatives since he arrived in Cleveland in 2018. For all of his efforts off the field and his ongoing success on the field, Landry was honored as the Browns' 2019 Walter Payton Man of the Year.
In addition to consistently supporting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation during the league's My Cause, My Cleats initiative, he has regularly hosted significant fundraisers in Miami and Cleveland to raise money and awareness for CF. Last year, he was a co-chair and emcee for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank's Taste of the Browns, which raised more than $350,000 and the equivalent of 1.4 million meals for Northeast Ohio families in need. He recently represented the Browns in celebrating the installment of high-quality synthetic turf fields at both Lorain High School and Boys Hope-Girls Hope of Northeastern Ohio, as well as helping surprise Berea Midpark High School this past offseason with $25,000 of new helmets through the Browns' HELMETS program. Last summer, he hosted the Fifth Annual Jarvis Landry Giveback Event at his alma mater, Lutcher High School, where nearly 150 youth experienced a day of football, private workout sessions, inspirational messages and mentorship opportunities. In April, Landry personally donated $15,000 to provide hygiene products to East Cleveland City School District students and families amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.