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Faith in Philly: 2020 Recap

By January 30, 2021 January 31st, 2021 No Comments

Dear Friends,

We just can’t thank you enough for your extraordinary generosity in 2020. While we saw so much despair and need, we also felt incredibly moved to help make a difference in our City of Brotherly Love. With your help and partnership, we accomplished so many things and feel that the often insurmountable odds were more achievable with the team that we have—you!

In 2020, Philadelphia hit so many lows and highs. We saw tragic increases in violence and death on our streets, food insecurity not seen in decades, lack of resources available to the most vulnerable kids and families, and massive economic damage that we suspect will linger here for a long time. 
In an attempt to help buoy our city, we tried to find ways to bring hope and resources to the hardest hit areas. Our city’s youth suddenly found themselves face to face with the hardest part of the pandemic. Schools closed, food sources dried up, sports stopped, digital learning and WiFi support was unavailable and suddenly they had nowhere to go where they’d be free from the trauma often in their homes.

Because of the massive generosity and support of our donors and partners, we were able to answer some of the deepest needs with the following COVID-19 safe programs:

  • We donated $100,000 to Philabundance in April to help with the growing food insecurity issues in Philadelphia. 
  • We supported Timoteo Sports with a youth football summer camp to get kids out of their homes and have a chance to play together. 
  • We supported the City of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Playstreets Program with a donation to help kids play on their streets during the   summer when all other resources were not available to them. 
  • Our City of Love Fund gave Safe-Hub PhiladelphiaHopecam, and PAR-Recycle Works grants to support their initiatives.
  • We launched Catches for the Community to raise money for underserved kids’ programs in the city.
  • We teamed up with Timoteo SportsFCA, ODAAPSunday Love Project and the The Lighthouse 1893 to provide 150 inner-city high school football players a field, skills, drills, competition work-outs, and food aimed directly at filling the needs of the most vulnerable youth when football and school was cancelled. We ran our “Beyond the Field” programming from September 1st-November 15th.
  • We provided the Beyond the Field players with a Resource Fair designed to help the kids learn about college admissionstrade schoolsmilitary, and career choices also missing in their lives when schools were shut down.
  • We teamed up with the Maxwell Football Club, The Athletes CornerODAAP, Timoteo SportsFCA, and Sunday Love Project to host a 150 player Recruiting Showcase for senior football players not able to get the attention of recruiters based on lack of football opportunities. 
  • We collaborated with 11 local non-profits and launched the Philly Bridge Project to help answer the needs of the kids and families in Philly. From food insecurity to clothing and sheltercollege readiness and career exploration, trauma informed care, and health and wellness, we are now able to support each child in our program when their needs arise. The Ben Franklin Bridge in Philadelphia is an iconic symbol of unification between two states and we felt that it is also a symbol of the massive importance of unifying non-profits focused on the needs of the kids. 
  • We joined forces with Jerome Bettis’ foundation, the Bus Stops Here. They developed the Steel Bridge Project in Pittsburgh. Our dream is to help 30 other cities with NFL teams build their own bridge projects to support and provide necessary resources for kids and families in each city. 
  • With Matthew 25 in our hearts, we teamed up with The Athletes CornerFeeding America, and Chegg (our largest corporate partner) for a Holiday Touchdowns for Meals initiative. The money raised would go to the largest food bank in Philadelphia and our partner—Philabundance. 
  • We did a Soccer Equipment Giving Event for the kids in Kensington.
  • We partnered again this year to do a Thanksgiving Food Giving Event with Acme Markets and Bringing Hope Home.
  • We hosted a Philly Bridge Project Thanksgiving Food Donation Drive. 
  • Together with very generous partners and donors, we hosted our first annual Philly Bridge Project Winter Giving Event. We provided 1,000 coats, hats, gloves, socks, and meals to families and the homeless population in Kensington. 
  • At the culmination of our Holiday Touchdowns for Meals Initiative with The Athletes Corner, Feeding America, and Chegg, we presented Philabundance with a check to cover 600,000 meals! 

We cannot thank you enough for all your help and all you do to support our desire to serve with our most grateful hearts. You certainly help to put “family” into our Ertz Family Foundation (www.ertzfamilyfoundation.org) mission. We wish you a most safe and healthy 2021 and ask that you stay tuned. We have exciting news to share very soon!

“We love because He first loved us” John 4:19

Zach and Julie

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