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The Chris Long Foundation announces new program to help provide for basic child needs

The Chris Long Foundation is growing
Published: Oct. 30, 2021 at 9:12 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Chris Long Foundation is growing. Former National Football League and University of Virginia football player Chris Long is starting a new program, called EdZone.

Chris Long was at King Family Vineyard Saturday afternoon for his “Wheels, Wine and Wonder,” fundraiser. Some of the money raised will go towards EdZone and NBC29 was a proud sponsor of the event.

“So, I look at kids that don’t have this stuff and you really just want to help them,” Chris Long said. “There’s so many great people in Charlottesville that can do that.”

Chris Long is giving back to students in a big way. By stuff, he means making sure kids have enough school supplies, clothes, and hygiene items to succeed.

“Basically, to put in a football metaphor, like the equipment you need to play in the game,” Long said. “A lot of the kids in Charlottesville don’t even have their shoulder pads, their helmet. We’re talking about school here, essential needs that we’re going to help get in the hands of Charlottesville City Schools.”

The new program, EdZone, is all about breaking down learning barriers, by providing kids with these tools.

“There’s kids in our community. There’s kids right here in Charlottesville, that are going to school, that are struggling with all of these things because their basic needs aren’t met, so they can’t learn. They’re not their best version of themselves,” executive director of the Chris Long Foundation, Nicole Woodie said.

The focus is to fill closets in classrooms with all of their basic needs.

The Chris Long Foundation auctioned off items Saturday afternoon to help raise money for this new program. The team says their goal is to raise around $25,000 at the event to fund another closet.

“This what we’re committed to in Charlottesville and we’re going to make sure that all kids in Charlottesville are taken care of,” Woodie said. “They can show up to school confident, cared for, and ready to learn. That’s the most important thing.”

This project has been a long time coming, but it’s Long’s own children who helped spark this idea

“We knew when Chris retired that we wanted to start a long term educational equity program here in Charlottesville,” Woodie said. “They will also be supporting other cities throughout the United States that are important places like St. Louis and Philadelphia.”

The Chris Long Foundation will be partnering with Charlottesville City Schools, and the goal is to have its first clothing and supplies drive in November.

The team says you can find more updates at The Chris Long Foundation.

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