Larry and The Larry Fitzgerald First Down Fund give significant gifts – in time, money and resources - to numerous organizations across the country. The Larry Fitzgerald First Down Fund was established by Larry Fitzgerald Jr. to help kids and their families by funding positive activities for kids during the summer and throughout the year, supporting kids and families in crisis, and supporting health-related organizations that work with families.
Larry has worked tirelessly to support charitable activities in the community. He’s made repeated trips to visit the U.S. troops in the Middle East. He’s made several trips to countries in Africa and Asia with Starkey Hearing Foundation to help fit kids with hearing aids. Earlier this year Larry traveled to Ethiopia with Oxfam America and former teammate Anquan Boldin. They visited projects Oxfam supports in northern Ethiopia including a farm training center where they visited with farmers and helped plant trees, and an irrigation project where they worked alongside local people building retaining walls to capture rain water and prevent erosion. This year Larry is a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society’s “Crucial Catch” campaign during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
In 2013 the First Down Fund generously donated 1,000 new Riddell Youth football helmets to The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board MPRB’s youth football program. Larry saw an opportunity to help the same program that gave him his start more than 20 years ago, Larry collaborated with Riddell to ensure all of the kids participating in the football program would have access to new, innovative helmet technology.
The First Down Fund also provided donations to a number of charities across the United States. This year over 300 charities were nominated by Larry’s fans to receive funding from the First Down Fund. The following charities were selected to be the recipients of those funds for 2013: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Boys and Girls Club on the Navajo Nation, Tuba City Agency Camp Kesem at Arizona State University, Johnson County CAN, in Nebraska, The Guild School and Neuromuscular Center in Spokane Washington, Phoenix Children's Hospital, Thornydale Elementary in Tucson, TyREDD, Weekend Backpack Program of Feedmore in Richmond Virginia. Virginia Tech Relay for Life, Creative Stages Youth Theatre, in Peoria, AZ, Youth House Atlanta,The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, based in Washington DC , Teen Lifeline, based in Phoenix, PEN in the Classroom which is a program of PEN Center USA. Thank you for all the charity nominations we received.
The First Down Fund has also made donations to refurbish a basketball court at Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Park in Minneapolis where Larry first played football as a child. This season, Larry will continue a tradition he started a few seasons ago - Larry and the First Down Fund have made donations to breast cancer organizations based on his touchdowns and receptions in the month of October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The following organizations have received significant donations as a result of this initiative: The National Breast Cancer Foundation, the American Cancer Society, African American Breast Cancer Alliance, and Sistas of AZ Pink 365 campaign providing free mammograms. Earlier this year the First Down Fund was a sponsor of “Tying the Knot, a series of events in Minnesota celebrating fatherhood. Larry and the First Down Fund are also perennial supporters of Plano Child Development Center, which provides vision care to children in the Chicago metropolitan area, and to the Carol Fitzgerald Memorial Fund which was established in honor of his mom. In 2012 Larry and the First Down Fund have also provided financial support to Big Brothers Big Sisters AZ, Nancy Lieberman Foundation, Make-A-Wish Arizona, Kurt Warner’s First Things First Foundation, and the Greg Jennings Foundation.
During the 2011 season, Larry made a donation each week to a charitable organization nominated by a fan. The following organizations received a donation providing general operating support as a result of this initiative: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Phoenix Children's Hospital, Donorschoose.org, Juvenile, Diabetes Research Foundation, Starkey Hearing Foundation, Desert Dance Theater, Parenting with a Purpose, Catholic Charities in Flagstaff, Streetlight USA, Autism Speaks, The Kingman AZ Foodbank, Phoenix Youth at Risk, Special Olympics of Minnesota, Special Olympics of Arizona, YWCA of Oahu, Hawaii, Pinal Council for CASA/Foster, Camp Simcha, Operation Homefront of Arizona
In the summer of 2011 the Larry Fitzgerald First Down Fund distributed funds to the Southern Arizona American Red Cross for wildfire relief. According to the Red Cross the donation prevented ten families from becoming homeless. The Larry Fitzgerald First Down Fund has also distributed funds to the Jerry Gamble Boys & Girls Club in North Minneapolis for summer youth programming, the Boys and Girls Club of Metropolitan Phoenix for summer youth programming, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona for summer youth programming, Horizons Youth Program at Sabathani Community Center in Minneapolis for summer youth programming, Minnesota Helps - North Minneapolis Recovery Fund to help families affected by the tornado, and Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Minneapolis for a summer film series.