A football star is using his public platform for good. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick donated $60,000 in backpacks to New York students for the upcoming school year. The giveaway was led by his girlfriend Nessa Diab of Hot 97. She shared why the Nike-sponsored donation was so important.
“Having a new backpack to start off the new school year helps give each student a fresh start,” Diab said in a statement on her website. “When we looked at everything when it comes to supplies, we found backpacks were an investment for most parents.”
One concern was the longevity of the book bags. Diab wanted students to use them for after-school activities and family trips.
“We wanted to ensure we found one that could last for more than a year and that was sturdy, durable and versatile for students to use for books, sports equipment or art materials, and traveling,” she said.
The donations took place in two locations. The first was Harlem RBI’s Dream Charter school during the middle school orientation. Patterson Family Day in South Bronx was the second spot. There, Diab encouraged students to remain in school alongside Bronx RBI staff.
Though Kaepernick was away at football training camp ahead of the NFL season, he sent the lucky learners a video message of support.
“We must invest in our youth because they are the future leaders of our community,” he shared. “I want them to know that we appreciate and care for them. In doing so, we must provide all the necessary tools for them to succeed and I will do whatever I can to ensure we do that as a community.”
The big donation follows the athlete’s announcement of gifting $1 million to various charities. Each of the targeted organizations aid communities affected by racial injustice and police violence.