The Dallas Cowboys will utilize the 2020 NFL Draft to raise funds and awareness for The Salvation Army's COVID-19 relief efforts, as part of the league's three-day virtual "Draft-A-Thon" fundraiser.
The "Draft-A-Thon" will be featured across the live Draft coverage on ABC, ESPN, ESPN Deportes and NFL Network on April 23-25 and pay tribute to healthcare workers and first responders in a variety of ways – including raising funds for the work being done to combat the impact of COVID-19.
Forty-million Americans living in poverty are struggling to find basic necessities during this pandemic, and The Salvation Army is working tirelessly to provide them with shelter, food, hydration, hygiene, or emotional and spiritual care. For more than 150 years, The Salvation Army's ministry has adapted service delivery to ensure people have access to basic necessities without discrimination.
"The Salvation Army is uniquely positioned to respond to meet the specific needs of people living in poverty or experiencing homelessness through its vast network, operating in virtually every zip code in America," said Charlotte Jones, Dallas Cowboys Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer. "In response to COVID-19, The Army has redeveloped social safety net programs to ensure safe access to food and shelter in this time of unprecedented need. We are proud to support their tireless work."
For more than 30 years, the Jones Family and the Dallas Cowboys have worked to help those who do not have the strength, the resources or the means to help themselves, with a primary focus on their partnership with The Salvation Army.
The Dallas Cowboys annual nationally televised Thanksgiving Day halftime performance has showcased the kickoff of The Salvation Army's iconic Red Kettle campaign for the past 23 years. The show has welcomed reknowned entertainers from across the music spectrum and has helped The Salvation Army raise more than $2.5 billion, reaching 500 million people in need.
Throughout the year, the Jones family and Dallas Cowboys partner with The Salvation Army on a variety of outreach initiatives from youth programs at the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Foundation Youth Education Town housed at The Salvation Army Arlington corps, to serving early Thanksgiving Day meals to hundreds of social service clients in Dallas and Fort Worth, providing thousands of Angel Tree gifts through the Christmas Assistance outreach, donating nearly $500,000 annually to The Army as part of the team's game day 50/50 raffle program and much, much more.
Fans and other supporters can donate to The Salvation Army through one central fund throughout the three day "Draft-A-Thon." The Salvation Army is one of six national charitable organizations selected by the National Football League to benefit from the virtual fundraiser.
Each NFL team has selected one of the six organizations with which to promote and direct donations towards during the three-day period. Other beneficiaries include American Red Cross, CDC Foundation, Feeding America, Meals On Wheels and United Way.
"As we face this global health crisis together, we are filled with gratitude for the extraordinary work of first responders, healthcare workers and many others who are helping those in need," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "The Draft-A-Thon will deliver much-needed funding to many who are suffering as well as those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Conducting this event virtually, and taking all necessary precautions while doing so, underscores the importance of staying home and staying strong during this unprecedented moment in our history."
Collectively, the NFL Family has donated more than $43 to various COVID-19 outreach efforts. The "Draft-A-Thon" contributions will be added to the overall total and allow for a deeper reach to assist football fans across the nation who are being impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
For more information on the Dallas Cowboys COVID-19 outreach efforts and to find other ways you can assist The Salvation Army and others, visit www.dallascowboys.com/covid19.