In 2019, Cam and the Cam Newton Foundation (CNF) executed or participated in a comprehensive calendar of events. In March, the CNF hosted the second year of Un1ted as 1. Hosted in Charlotte, this program teaches middle-school students to embrace diversity and ignite social change, empowering participants with the skills to transform and alleviate many of the problems society faces today. Thirty-five youth from diverse backgrounds from three Charlotte-Mecklenburg middle schools participated. In April, Cam hosted a school assembly with 1,000 fourth-graders at East Burke High School. The focus of the event was to encourage children to develop healthy and active lifestyles. On Friday, April 12, the CNF partnered with Atrium Health for a Day of Service across the city of Charlotte. The first stop was Renaissance West STEAM Academy, a school that educates more than 400 students -- from kindergarten through 8th grade.
Cam surprised 3rd, 4th and 5th graders as a "guest coach" in a Teachers vs. Students basketball game. The second stop of the day was Crisis Assistance Ministry – Charlotte's advocate for people in financial crisis, helping them move toward self-sufficiency. Cam surprised working volunteers with a helping hand by sorting clothes and other personal items. The final stop of the day was Levine Children's Hospital where Cam played games and interacted with patients and their families. In June, Cam and the CNF hosted three children and their families for a special day through Make-A-Wish. The 2019 CNF 7 v 7 Tournament Series consisted of four regional tournaments. Eighty-five high school teams (comprised of over 2,000 student-athletes and coaches) participated throughout the month of June in Kennesaw, GA, Savannah, GA, Rock Hill, SC and Birmingham, AL. Each tournament was two days and the top three teams received a donation for football gear. Cam attended each tournament and interacted with student-athletes by coaching, throwing, and giving words of encouragement. Cam's All-Star 7 v 7 Team program serves as an outlet to reach young people and teach important life skills. Cam personally coaches, mentors and spends significant time with the athletes on his teams. Each player is responsible for participating in two community service events between the months of March and June. In 2019, the All-Star Teams worked with Margie's House — a non-profit designed to make a positive difference in the crusade against hunger, homelessness and poverty, and Special Olympics. Kicking It with Cam (a corporate and celebrity kickball tournament on the Bank of America Stadium game field) is open to the public and was attended by more than 2,000 fans. Celebrity guests included Bo Jackson, Steve Smith, Randy Moss, Sloane Stephens, Kemba Walker, Evander Holyfield, Tim Tebow, Gary Sheffield, Myles Garrett, Terrell Owens, Josh Norman, Miss USA Cheslie Kryst and over 30 of Cam's teammates and NFL colleagues. Kicking It With Cam, Fly1n' with Cam (a Flywheel class with 50 participants), and Cruisin' with Cam (a yacht cruise with 75 guests) raised a combined total of more than $170,000. Cam will also be hosting signature upcoming holiday events for 2019. For example, Cam's Thanksgiving Jam (Nov. 25) will have more than 1,200 underprivileged kids being served a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Christmas with Cam (Dec. 15) will host 25 patients from Levine Children's Hospital and their family members at a Panthers home game. Santa Cam's Surprise Sleigh (Dec. 16 or 17) will have Santa Cam and his "elves" make surprise stops all over the Charlotte-metro area to give more than $200,000 in cash, gift cards and gifts (toys, bikes, coats, school supplies, etc.) to non-profits and community groups in need.
Cam's demonstrated commitment to community efforts has been tireless and far-reaching since entering the NFL in 2011 and establishing the Cam Newton Foundation in 2012. Cam established three pillars of focus: EVERY 1 PLAYS (youth activity, mentoring high school players), EVERY 1 GIVES (donations and community outreach) and EVERY 1 LEARNS (diversity and societal education). Together, they make up the foundation's guiding principle and Cam's personal belief of EVERY 1 MATTERS. Since inception, the Cam Newton Foundation has provided $5.13 million in grant funding, year-round programing resources and donations to schools and non-profit agencies in Atlanta and Charlotte. Over 12,500 student-athletes and coaches have participated in Cam's EVERY 1 PLAYS initiative and over 11,850 need-based youth have been provided meals and gifts through Cam's EVERY 1 GIVES signature programs - "Cam's Thanksgiving Jam" and "Santa Cam's Surprise Sleigh." In addition, Cam has quietly served his communities behind the scenes separate from his foundation work by providing spontaneous acts of kindness to those in need. "People are not aware, which included me, that Cam provides meals to homeless individuals after Panthers home games," said Cam Newton Foundation Executive Director Kim Beal. Cam's off-the-field efforts are significant and purposeful, but perhaps his greatest legacy has been growing the sport of football at the grassroots level and using the sport as a gateway to mentor youth. His strong commitment has been foundational and is rare among active NFL players. Cam's passion and enthusiasm for high school football is exemplified by his annual 7-on-7 Tournament which featured four events, 85 high school teams and over 2,000 student-athletes in 2019. Cam's 7-on-7 All-Star Team affords the opportunity to counsel and prepare elite-level high school players for the next step in their football development. Since 2011, 450 student-athletes have participated in the program including 20 future Collegiate Academic All-Americans, 10 current and former NFL players and 75 student-athletes currently playing collegiate football. Notable players who have benefitted from Cam's mentorship include Deshaun Watson (Houston Texans), Michael Gallup (Dallas Cowboys), Justin Fields (Ohio State University – 2018 #1 rated high school player in the country) and Jadon Haselwood (Oklahoma University – 2019 #1 rated high school wide receiver in the country).
Motivated by the Bible verse "from everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked" (Luke 12:48), Cam has consistently invested in others, dating back to his time before the NFL when he would encourage youth at his local church. While at Auburn, Cam consistently mentored students at a local elementary school. As a child, Cam dreamed of being a professional athlete, but he never had access to the professional athletes in Atlanta. Cam vowed that once he achieved that level of success, he would be approachable and accessible so that he could favorably impact the lives of young people and he has delivered on that promise. Cam started the Cam Newton Foundation (CNF) in 2012 where the foundation serves as Cam's charitable platform and supports strategic initiatives, programs and events in the Charlotte and Atlanta communities. With Cam's leadership, the Foundation has significantly grown throughout the last seven years. Instead of creating a fund or pursuing other financial giving options, Cam chose to create a Board of Directors and staffing model for his Foundation that offers year-round programming. Since 2012, more than $5.13 million has been distributed through programming, financial contributions and in-kind donations, more than 12,500 student-athletes have been impacted and more than 11,850 students have been fed or received assistance during the holiday season. Cam has been elected a team captain for the past seven seasons and, on game day, he introduced the tradition of giving a fan a football after he scores a touchdown, an act of generosity that has been adopted by his teammates. Most importantly for Cam, he is a devoted father to his four children.
Beyond the number of people that his programs have impacted off-the-field is the advice Cam often shares with youth in the community.
"Usually you think the average football player doesn't really do that much for their community. They just care about themselves," said Letrell Grady, a 14-year old former participant in Cam's UN1TED AS 1 youth program, in an interview with The Charlotte Observer. "But the fact that he made a whole program, fed me, hired people to help me, and he took time out of his day to fly to Charlotte to talk to me? When he didn't have to do that? It wasn't just a program with his name on it where he took credit. He took the time out of his day to come talk to me. Honestly and truly, I never would have expected Cam Newton to be like that. I've seen him on TV and social media and stuff like that, but I never thought he'd be that way."