Brandon Carr's commitment to football is obvious. He's currently in his 12th NFL season and has the NFL's longest active streak of starts for a non-quarterback (currently at 183 as of 10/21/19). But his commitment to the community may arguably have an even bigger impact than his great plays on the field. This past season, the Ravens cornerback has elevated his philanthropic giving to a whole new level. Brandon was been named 2019 Week 5 NFLPA Community MVP after pledging to donate $12,500 per game this season, a total of $200,000, to fund free screenings and diagnostic mammograms through the National Breast Cancer Foundation as part of the NFL's Crucial Catch campaign. Brandon's mother, Kathy Gail Carr, lost her battle to breast cancer on July 30, 2014. This past spring, Brandon received the Legacy Award at NBCF's Women of Hope Awards Luncheon in honor of his commitment to his mother's legacy through his work to help underserved women impacted by breast cancer across the country. At the luncheon, Brandon was moved to do more so he pledged to help provide free screening and diagnostic mammograms, including 3D options for women with dense breast tissue, to women living in Baltimore, Dallas and his hometown of Flint, MI. In addition to his elevated support of breast cancer patients this year, the Carr Cares Foundation officially launched a new literacy subscription box called LitBuddies at Glenmount Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore this past September. LitBuddies raises awareness about the importance and value in reading among youth by sharing books and literacy resources. More than 100 literacy boxes were already distributed for free to Baltimore-area students, and the subscription will be available for purchase for families across the country.
The debut LitBuddies box was a "Back to School" box complete with two books, a bookmark, pencils and a notebook. Additionally, this year Brandon received the Inspiration Award from Pop Warner Little Scholars for his performance on the field and his commitment to bettering his community.
Founded in 2012, the Carr Cares Foundation focuses on educational enrichment and physical fitness for youth. The foundation supports and promotes child literacy by establishing reading centers, implementing tutoring programs and providing learning tools to help young students understand the importance of reading and improve their literacy skills. Last year, Brandon expanded his support of education by launching the Carr Cares Reading Buddy Program. The program provides mentoring services to struggling readers in 2nd and 3rd grade by pairing them with high school student mentors. High school students are provided with necessary tools to develop positive, one-to-one mentoring relationships with elementary students, while encouraging them to value literacy programs and activities in and out of the school environment. The high school students who participate qualify for book scholarships for college through the Carr Cares Foundation. The Carr Cares Reading Buddy Program currently exists in schools between Texas, Michigan and Maryland, and on average, the program totals up to 364 hours of mentoring services for higher-risk students, per school. Additionally, last season the Carr Cares Foundation partnered with EVERFI to further support students in elementary schools with health and wellness education by using a digital program. The Carr Cares Foundation's Healthier Me - Wellness Fundamentals for Elementary School program is an innovative, games-based digital course that educates elementary school students about the importance of well-balanced meals and physical activity, preparing them to make healthy, informed decisions when it comes to nutrition and fitness, and securing healthier, happier futures for the next generation. It is available for students at no cost to the schools or community-based organizations. A supporter of PLAY 60, Brandon regularly participates in local PLAY 60 assemblies and encourages students to be active for at least 60 minutes every day. Throughout his career, Brandon has participated in numerous events to promote healthy lifestyles among youth including school visits, football clinics, charity basketball games and more. Annually, Brandon also supports others through food donations. In November of 2017, Brandon joined Plank Industries to sponsor the Annual SB7 Coalition Thankful Thursday: A Feast for Fellowship dinner for the residents of the South Baltimore. This event brought together members of the community including local church leaders, police officers and the City of Refuge's newest teen program, Level Up. Last Thanksgiving, Brandon participated in Pack to Give Back, an event that helps pack holiday meals for more than 10,000 families alongside more than 300 volunteers. For the third straight year, Brandon will be teaming up with Baltimore Ravens to host the 15th Annual Holiday Helpers shopping event this December. At this event, 60 underprivileged children from the Baltimore area are invited to shop for the holidays at Target. Each child receives a $200 gift card to shop for themselves and their families for Christmas.
As a respected veteran player, Brandon is a prominent voice in the Ravens locker room when it comes to promoting the importance of philanthropy and positive character. He's also become a leader with regards to recent social justice initiatives established by the Ravens. He initiated conversations with teammates, participated in listen and learn meetings and spoken about various issues with community members. Last September, Brandon spoke to students at the Ravens inaugural Flock Above Mentoring Program launch event. Brandon spent hours talking to ninth graders in the group about his personal journey and various challenges he's faced over the years. He encouraged the students to try to help make their community a better place and be a positive role model for others. Additionally, almost every week, you can find Brandon visiting a school. To show his consistency in positive character, Brandon "adopted" Glenmount Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore City and visits it numerous times throughout the school year. He supports their students consistently and even served as their Principal of the Day. His duties started with the morning announcements and continued with shadowing teachers in select classes and finally helping children choose their favorite books. He surprised their own principal with Super Bowl tickets last season. He encourages students to have a love of learning and respect for each other.
As a native of Flint, MI, and someone very proud of his hometown, the water crisis really hit home for Carr. Back in 2016, Carr donated $100,000 to create the Carr Cares Fund for Flint and another $10,000 to the Safe Water Safe Homes Fund that helps with the infrastructure problems. That year, Carr also advocated to other athletes to offer their support of Flint, MI residents. Carr has also serves as a voice for domestic violence awareness. Following the deaths of his former Chiefs teammate and friend Jovan Belcher and Belcher's girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, Carr began outreach efforts to enlist help for a men's rally against abuse. While in Dallas, Carr also hosted a celebrity softball game to raise awareness for domestic violence victims.