Friday, December 9, 2016

Eli Manning Agent of Social Change

We welcome our newest contributor, Edith, as she shares our inaugural column dedicating her dissertation to Eli Manning:

Here is an agent of social change that personifies the mission of Walden U which is why I dedicated my dissertation to him: 

Eli Manning

A two-time Super Bowl champion and two-time Super Bowl MVP, former No. 1 overall pick Eli Manning has spent the entirety of his 13-year NFL career at the helm of the New York Giants. He holds numerous team records, including passing touchdowns, pass completions and passing yards, and also currently is the league leader in consecutive starts with an impressive 167 mark.

Manning is driven by a passion and energy, which also fuels his commitment to creating positive change in the community. As a father of three daughters, championing causes that involve children has always been a priority for Manning. He has served as the Chair of the New York March for Babies for the past seven years, joining thousands of New Yorkers in the walk in support of March of Dimes. Manning's efforts with March for Babies helped to raise over $25M over the past seven years.

Since volunteering to quarterback the Tackle Kids Cancer campaign ahead of the 2015 Season, Eli Manning has been the charity's most valuable player. His visits to the Children's Cancer Institute have warmed the hearts of the children and families battling cancer. His fundraising, appearances and personal donations are exemplified by the creation of the "Sohn-Manning Pediatric Cancer Survivorship Program", resulting in a grant of $500,000, among the many fundraising efforts he inspired. During its inaugural season the Giants, Manning and Hackensack University Medical Center were surprised by the many local grass roots organizations supporting Tackle Kids Cancer, so Manning pledged $100,000 for the 2016 season to match and inspire those efforts - and "Eli's Challenge" was born, raising over $30,000 from local community groups in the first few weeks of the program. To date, his support of the program has directly led to more than $1,000,000 in fundraising in just over one year, and propelled the new charitable program to over $3,000,000 in funds raised since its inception.

Manning along with his wife, founded the Eli and Abby Manning Children's Clinics in 2007 and kicked off a five-year fundraising campaign that ultimately raised close to $3M. Building on that accomplishment and model, they also created the University of Mississippi Medical Center Manning Family Fund, which received close to $1.5M in its first year last year.

Manning devotes his time and resources to a myriad of other initiatives, including working with the American Red Cross; his nearly 10-year relationship with and commitment to Guiding Eyes for the Blind, an organization that trains guide dogs; his participation in the No More campaign as part of the NFL Against Violence program; his contribution to Operation Smile's NYC gala; his scholarship endowment at the University of Mississippi; and his fulfillment of numerous Make-A-Wish and Wounded Warrior experiences.

Due to his continued commitment to charity, Manning has been the Giants' nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award as well as the team's nominee for the Byron "Whizzer" White NFL Man of the Year Award numerous times.

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