For more than 40 years, United Way and the National Football League have worked together to improve the lives of young people across the country. In New York City, the New York Giants, the New York Jets and United Way of New York City have partnered to impact children and families living in some of our City’s most-challenged neighborhoods. For 25 years now, United Way of New York City, the New York Giants, and the New York Jets have come together for the Gridiron Gala. The Gala is a celebration of the impact our partnership has made and a call to the future for continued collaboration to help our struggling neighbors move from barely surviving to thriving. Since its inception, the Gridiron Gala has raised more than $30 million in support of United Way of New York City’s initiatives supporting education, health, and financial stability for New York City’s children and their families.

Gridiron Gala guests of more than 1,000 include executives from many of New York City’s top corporations and at least 40 current and former Giants and Jets players. Players walk the red carpet and participate in the VIP reception where they mingle with guests and sign autographs. Community Quarterback Awards are presented to two corporate leaders for their outstanding contributions to the community, and two Jets and Giants players who personify the NFL’s commitment to community service receive Hometown Hero awards.

United Way of New York City (UWNYC) has been a trusted partner to government, corporations and community-based organizations for more than 80 years. Serving low-income New Yorkers, UWNYC’s collective impact approach enables the diagnosis of neighborhood challenges and the design of solutions to expand education, financial stability, and health opportunities. UWNYC then deploys resources and volunteers while also driving policy change that is guided by measured results. UWNYC envisions caring communities where all individuals and families have access to quality education and the opportunity to lead healthy and financially secure lives.

The relationship between the NFL and United Way Worldwide (UWW) is the longest league/non-profit partnership in American history. For over four decades, the NFL and UWW have worked together to address critical issues on a local and national scale. In 2016, they joined together in the creation of a new digital curriculum aimed at middle school students.

Character Playbook – Building Healthy Relationships is an innovative digital course that uses evidence-based strategies to educate students on how to cultivate and maintain healthy relationships during their critical middle school years. The course allows students to engage with true-to-life scenarios that include bystander intervention strategies and positive relationship examples.