Charities praise 'Man of the Year' Chris Long's off-field work

Christie Ileto Image
Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Eagles' Chris Long wins Walter Payton award
Eagles' Chris Long wins Walter Payton award: Christie Ileto reports on Action News at 11 p.m., February 4, 2019

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- One of the winners at the Super Bowl was Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long, who edged out 31 other nominees to win the league's Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

Long's foundation supports the Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP), which provides intensive early literacy support for young children in Philadelphia.

The organization has been helping Tanisha Johnson's sons Zaim and Zion Miller learn to read for the last two years.

"He doesn't have to do anything outside of his profession except play football, so for him to step up and do something outside of his profession, that means he's a good-hearted person," said Johnson.

During weekly home visits, PCHP gives children educational items, interactive books and other supplies to encourage literacy. The Chris Long Foundation provides support for these families.

"He has a lot of books. I need a bookshelf from as many books that I have a received from this program," said Johnson.

Long started his foundation in 2015, with causes that included clean water, supporting vets and youth education.

Chris Long tackling water issues across the globe. Annie McCormick reports during Action News at 10 p.m. on PHL17 on November 7, 2017.

With his "First Quarter for Literacy" program, 75,000 new books have been donated to children in underserved neighborhoods in Philadelphia in 2018 alone.

"With Read by 4th, Chris Long gave the first quarter of his salary for us to go ahead and buy books that we could turn around and give away through our partner organizations to children in Philadelphia," said Jenny Bogoni, executive director of the Read by 4th campaign.

So when Long was named man of the year, it was no surprise to the many organizations he partners with, who then flooded social media with praise for his works off of the field.

"He used his position not only to give of his own time and treasure, but to ask fans and other players to step up and join him in the First Quarter for Literacy," said Bogoni.


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