The Steelers commitment to their community continued when another donation through the Steelers Social Justice Grant program was announced on Friday.
The program, which is led by the players themselves, is an effort to engage with various factions, including law enforcement, charitable organizations, military and more to strengthen the community at large.
Steelers’ players are doing their part to make a difference, aiding organizations financially and by giving their time to local organizations.
The most recent donation was made to the United Way’s Hill Youth Partnership for Enrichment (HYPE), with players donating and the team also contributing, for a total of $30,000.
“I think we all recognize a lot of people are struggling in the community, especially disadvantaged youth,” said Bob Nelkin, CEO of the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania. “The question is how can we help them? It’s a blessing that the players themselves feel this compassion personally and the team ownership, the Steelers, the Rooney family and Art Rooney II in particular, have always had the compassion to help the community through the United Way. They are focused on helping children and youth that really need it, need a boost. It’s a pretty wonderful thing.”
HYPE is a grassroots effort of Hill District youth service providers that includes the Hill District Education Council and Pittsburgh Public Schools that focuses on engaging youth from K-12 in afterschool and summer programs. Their goals are to engage more youth in the Hill District to take part, improve the quality of the programs, and serve as a model for other communities.
“It’s incredibly important to support the United Way and the agencies they work with,” said Ramon Foster. “When you are in a place like Pittsburgh, helping an organization like United Way is key because it gives you a bigger understanding of what is there to support the people in the city. The United Way, with the different things they do, opens your eyes to a lot of stuff that is going on. They reach the people who need the help the most.
“And with what we are doing now, it’s not just talking about it. Everybody can say something because they have a social media platform. We have the opportunity to do more, to put dollars behind it, and when you do it helps a little bit more.”