The NFL today announced additional details for "Draft-A-Thon," a massive fundraising campaign part of the 2020 NFL Draft aimed at raising much-needed funds for COVID-19 relief efforts. The Draft-A-Thon will be live streamed on NFL social and digital platforms and featured in live Draft coverage on ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, and ESPN Deportes on April 23-25.
Donations can be made at NFL.com/RELIEF starting today. There is also a text-to-donate option. In addition to raising funds, the Draft-A-Thon will pay tribute to healthcare workers, first responders, and others on the front lines of the battle with COVID-19. To date, the NFL family has raised more than $50 million in COVID-19 relief.
Fans can follow the Draft-A-Thon on NFL digital properties across devices (phone, PC, tablet and connected TVs) and on Twitter, Twitch, Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo Sports. Hosted by the NFL Network's Rich Eisen and Deion Sanders, the Draft-A-Thon will feature a wide variety of athletes, celebrities, and personalities, including actor and comedian Kevin Hart, music artists Quavo and Kane Brown, football player Toni Harris, gaming icon Ninja, NFL stars Tyrann Mathieu, Devin McCourty, Torrey Smith, Rod Woodson and many others.
Funds raised during Draft-A-Thon will help support six national nonprofit organizations listed below and their respective COVID-19 relief efforts. As part of this donation, all 32 NFL clubs have selected one or more of these organization's local branches to receive a portion of the funding. The remaining funds will be distributed across the country and internationally where the needs are greatest.
At NFL.com/auction fans can bid on autographed NFL items and exclusive packages to support COVID-19 relief as well. The NFL does not retain any profits from the sale of these items or experiences. Charitable contributions are donated to the NFL's nonprofit partners.
American Red Cross: The American Red Cross now faces a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations during this COVID-19 outbreak. Such a blood shortage impacts patients who need surgery, victims of car accidents and other emergencies, or patients suffering from cancer. The need for blood is constant and will continue even as the coronavirus outbreak grows. Preparations to ensure continued delivery of the vital Red Cross mission nationwide due to this public health emergency are focused on two pillars: Ensure that the Red Cross can maintain a sufficient supply of blood to help patients in need and prevent any shortage and ensure that the Red Cross can continue to provide critical relief services to people affected by disasters big and small.
CDC Foundation's All of Us: Combat Coronavirus Campaign: The CDC Foundation is working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local health departments to gain on-the-ground insights into the evolving COVID-19 emergency situation and a clear understanding of immediate needs. Funds from the CDC Foundation's All of Us: Combat Coronavirus Campaign will be directed toward providing support for vulnerable communities; increasing laboratory capacity; strengthening dedicated local response efforts; updating community data and technology infrastructure; addressing health communications needs and boosting clinical research to optimize clinical care and support; and more.
Feeding America: The Feeding America network is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States including in disasters and national emergencies. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, Feeding America provides meals to more than 40 million people each year. The organization launched the COVID-19 Response Fund, a national food and fundraising effort to support people facing hunger and the food banks who help them through emergency food boxes, grants and distribution of food and non-food household items including cleaning supplies, diapers and personal care products. Feeding America also is working with government leaders to ensure the emergency response includes strong support and flexibility for federal nutrition programs including the School Lunch Program and is partnering with school districts to ensure that 22 million children who rely on school meals have access to food outside of the classroom.
Meals on Wheels America: Meals on Wheels America is the leadership organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger. This network serves virtually every community in America and, along with more than two million staff and volunteers, delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable America's seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. Vulnerable seniors are at the greatest risk amid COVID-19. Local Meals on Wheels programs are on the front lines every day, focused on doing all they can to keep older Americans safe and nourished in communities across the country. The costs and efforts needed to protect seniors from COVID-19 require additional emergency funds. The Meals on Wheels COVID-19 Response Fund has been created to ensure local communities have what they need to continue to deliver a vital lifeline to our most at-risk Americans.
Salvation Army: As Coronavirus COVID-19 has evolved into a pandemic, the Salvation Army is caring for people experiencing homelessness or living in poverty as they may be more vulnerable to the disease. They have ramped up efforts to slow the spread of this virus among their employees, volunteers, and the homeless and other vulnerable people they serve. Currently, three priority focus areas for The Salvation Army include 1) food for shelter residents, first responders, low-income families and students, and senior citizens; 2) safe shelter for the homeless; and 3) support for those who have been economically impacted due to business shutdowns.
United Way: United Way Worldwide's COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund helps families and people in need access critical information and services like food, shelter, and more through the United Way network. It also bolsters 211, United Way's go-to information resource in times of crisis. Calls to 211 for help with basics have risen more than 300 percent in some areas, and are expected to top 27 million calls over the next six months. That's more than twice the usual call volume that 211 fields in a typical year.