Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow steadily has been growing into his leadership role with the team. Now he's trying to do the same with the community.
Burrow announced the launching of his first namesake foundation on Oct. 4, with his parents Robin Burrow and Jim Burrow joining the effort. According to the Joe Burrow Foundation website, the organization's mission is "to provide resources and support to the underprivileged and underserved."
"I believe that everyone has a responsibility to do good," Burrow says in a press release. "This Foundation allows me and my family to give back."
In the release, Burrow referenced the food support that Athens County – where he attended high school and played standout football – received after he'd mentioned that the Appalachian region is beset by poverty. "I’m up here for all those kids in Athens County who go home without a lot of food on the table," Burrow said when he accepted the Heisman Trophy in 2019 after a star year in Louisiana State University.
The Joe Burrow Foundation, he says now, will build upon that.
"So many of you made generous contributions to support food insecurity in Athens County, Ohio following my 2019 Heisman Trophy speech. We will build on our efforts to tackle food insecurity by also finding ways to offer up support in Greater Cincinnati, other parts of Ohio, Baton Rouge and Louisiana," Burrow said.
Mental health also will be a focus for the foundation, he said.
"My mom, a lifetime educator, experiences firsthand the effect of mental health issues on children and their families. We want to make a difference here as well,” Burrow said.
The foundation will be led by Burrow as president, Jim as vice president and Robin as secretary and treasurer. Jim Burrow had played defensive back for the Green Bay Packers and other teams in the '70s and early '80s before moving to coaching, including at Ohio University in Athens.
The Joe Burrow Foundation's advisory board includes leaders from the Fifth Third Bank, Procter & Gamble, Hamilton County Municipal Court, Jeff Ruby's and others.
Burrow isn't the only Bengal to launch a community initiative recently. Defensive end Sam Hubbard has created Hubbard's Cupboards to stock Mt. Healthy schools with supplies and snacks.