This year, Allen Robinson II has shown dedication and commitment to community efforts through his Within Reach Foundation. The mission of the Within Reach Foundation is to provide educational opportunities and resources to low-income and inner-city Chicago students to help put success within reach. Children who do not have access to self-selected books read at levels nearly 50-percent below their peers who have access to self-selected books. Children who read 15 minutes outside the classroom are exposed to more than one million more words per year. Children who read more than one million words will likely be in the top two-percent of their class. The goal of the Allen Robinson Within Reach Foundation is to impact 5,000 students by the end of 2020. This year, Allen has personally donated $25,000 to his foundation to help support this mission & goal. In May, Allen Robinson's Within Reach Foundation launched its first Reach for a Book Reading Zone in Chicago at the Gantz Boys & Girls Club. Reach for a Book Reading Zones provide Boys and Girls Clubs and Title 1 schools in the Chicago area with age appropriate books and other self-selected reading material.
This program completely renovated a space in the Gantz Boys and Girls Club including new wall decals and furniture and provided students with a fun learning environment to help foster and encourage reading. This reading zone impacts over 500 students every year. In December, Allen and his Within Reach Foundation will host his annual Operation Elf program. This program provides a festive holiday experience for children in-need who would otherwise have little or no Christmas at all. Robinson will treat 25 youth from the Boys and Girls Clubs in Chicago to an all-expenses paid shopping spree to purchase gifts for themselves and their loved ones. Allen is also participating in the Bears Home Team Hand-Off program buy purchasing and donating six tickets to each Bears home games for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago. He has continually supported the Bears team charity, Bears Care, by attending the annual Bears Care Gala in support of breast and ovarian cancer research and participates in the NFL's My Cause My Cleats program by bringing awareness to his foundation. Allen and his Within Reach Foundation look to launch their next Reach for a Book Reading Zone in the spring of 2020.
Allen launched his foundation in 2016 while playing with the Jacksonville Jaguars to provide educational opportunities and resources to low-income and inner-city students to help put success within their reach. In 2016, Allen's foundation raised over $100,000 to support in-need youth in Jacksonville. He and his foundation also impacted 100 in-need youth in the Jacksonville community through a Back to School Program to provide school supplies and clothing and the Operation Elf Holiday program. In 2017, Allen's Within Reach Foundation raised over $135,000 to support in-need youth in the Jacksonville area. Allen and his foundation also impacted over 100 youth in-need in the Jacksonville area through hosting a Back to School Program to provide school supplies and clothing and the Operation Elf Holiday Program. In 2018, Allen relocated to Chicago to join the Chicago Bears and brought his foundation with him to begin impacting the youth in Chicago. Allen's Within Reach Foundation raised over $136,000 to impact and support his mission to provide educational opportunities for the inner-city Chicago youth. Allen also hosted his annual Operation Elf Holiday Program for 45 kids from the Chicago Boys and Girls Club. He also made a personal donation of $12,000 in support of the player's social justice initiative and continues to be a team leader for their cause by visiting with social justice groups who attend practice at Halas Hall. Allen never misses a chance to greet groups, sign autographs and pose for photos.
Allen demonstrates consistency in positive character and modeling a lifestyle of giving back by being all-in on his foundation's mission to support education and help put success within reach for low-income and inner-city Chicago students. Allen doesn't just talk the talk but also walks the walk by showing up for every single student he supports through his foundation. Allen reads books to students, talks to them about the importance of education and truly shows how much he genuinely cares for every single kid. Allen is constantly looking for new ways to help grow his foundation and wants to continually impact more students every single year. Allen is personally invested in his mission and foundation and makes a personal contribution every year to help show his commitment and support of the youth in the Chicago area.
Allen's upbringing shaped him into wanting to give back to youth and he uses this to inspire his passion to provide opportunities to in-need youth every day. Allen uses his influence and platform to support these kids through his foundation and community outreach programs. To date Allen and his Within Reach Foundation have provided educational opportunities and resources to nearly 1,000 kids in-need to help put success within reach. Below is a statement from the Director at that Boys and Girls Club where the reading zone was launched about the impact that space has had on the students there: "The reading room has become one of the favorite spots for our members to be in. They enjoy the atmosphere and aesthetic of the room, for reading homework and leisure activities. The room has increased engaging in our academic programs as well, like our Power Hour (homework help) and Summer Brain Grain (Summer Learning loss prevention program). Throughout the summer we had over 60 members ages 5-13yrs reach the goal of reading 100 hours during our summer camp. This was an increase of about 30% in activity attendance for these programs compared to last fall and summer. Also, we've had the highest amount of members we've ever had that participated in the summer reading challenge (from the Chicago Public Library)."