Mar 27 2020

Drew and Brittany Show up Big With $5 Million to Help the State

By: Molly Kellogg

It is no secret that the coronavirus outbreak has hit Louisiana pretty hard. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and his family have pledged their money to help the state get through this difficult time.

On his social media platforms on Thursday, Brees explained he and his wife would commit $5 million to Louisiana in 2020 by means of food donations.

"The priority now is helping our communities get through this tough time," Brees explained on an Instagram post. "After considerable research and conversations with local organizations, we will be mobilizing our partnerships with Second Harvest Food Bank, Ochsner Health Systems, Walk-Ons, Jimmy Johns, Smalls Sliders and Waitr to prepare and deliver over 10,000 meals per day throughout Louisiana for as long as it takes to children on meal programs, seniors, and families in need."

Brees believes if we all "do our part, maintain hope," we can get through this together. His family's commitment went viral, drawing thank you's and prestige from throughout the nation.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards tweeted in support, "Thank you, @drewbrees. On behalf of the Great State of Louisiana, we are all grateful for your family's support and generosity through this trying time. We are one Louisiana and we will get through this together."

As of Thursday, 2,305 people in Louisiana had tested positive for coronavirus and 83 people had died. A report by the New Orleans Advocate | Times-Picayune, released on March 23, showed Orleans Parish as the sixth-highest rate of known coronavirus cases of all the counties in the United States.

"Everyone is affected in one way or another," Brees posted on twitter. "Let's all band together to help and support each other. Brittany (and) I will be making an announcement soon as to the ongoing relief efforts."

Last month, Brees confirmed he intended to put off his retirement and come back for his 20th NFL season. He has been in New Orleans for the past 14 seasons, and last week, he signed a two-year $50 million contract. This brings his professional earnings near $300 million.

However, the Saints quarterback does not hesitate to give back to the community, having established the Brees Dream Foundation in 2003. Their mission statement was directed as "improving the quality of life for cancer patients, and providing care, education and opportunities for children and family in need." Brees' foundation has givennearly $34 million to charities across the globe.

Brees initially signed with the Saints in 2006, right after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city months before. In a press event in 2018, Brees looked back on his visit with Saints coach Sean Payton. He had driven Brees to the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain. The storm had not ravaged this area as much as others. On the way back, the two ended up lost in New Orleans' Lakeview neighborhood, with their way out trapped by a tugboat in the middle of the street.

Bree recalls Payton remarking that their time in NOLA just as well could be over before it even began. However, Brees went on to sign a contract with the Saints. Since then, Brees has stood as a symbol of the city's resilience.

In an interview in 2008, Brees said he and Brittany wanted to give back to New Orleans, that being a part of the reconstruction of the city felt like "a calling."

In 2009, Brees led the Saints to their first Super Bowl ring, deemed MVP honors in the game. He was later named Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year in 2010. As a Saint, Brees has surpassed basically every major NFL record.

Besides being a winner on the field, Brees has done a lot for the community. In 2007, the Brees' foundation teamed up with Operation Kids, going on to raise a cool $2 million, of which most was donated to construct schools, parks, playgrounds and athletic facilities in New Orleans.


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