Home SPORTS Drew Brees: Working Towards a Dream with a Purpose

Drew Brees: Working Towards a Dream with a Purpose

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The Brees Dream Foundation partners with Samsung Hope for Children and Best Buy

Photo: Skip Bolen/Getty Images for Samsung

What is popularly called fame is nothing but an empty name unless a real legacy stands behind it. In a time of turmoil for the New Orleans Saints, and by consequence for the passionate fans who support them, the glow fades from past parades, and the cheering dims a little, so that something more can be gleaned from the multi-billion dollar business that is the NFL. At the center of the Saints’ Sisyphean struggle to overcome the myriad bizarre obstacles put forth by their own league, before them stands Drew Brees—signed to a huge contract, cast at the forefront of the players’ labor struggle and echoing fan and player sentiment in the replacement referees controversy, not to mention fathering a burgeoning family of three very young sons. Brees shoulders attention, responsibility and burdens that would challenge any man’s capacities.

Somehow, in the midst of all this, Brees and his wife Brittany make huge strides in accomplishing something real and lasting beyond the weekly scores and blaring ESPN highlights by successfully managing The Brees Dream Foundation. Most recently, Brees has been busy using his fame to encourage corporate responsibility locally. The Brees Dream Foundation has partnered with Samsung Hope for Children and Best Buy to contribute $300,000 over the course of 2012 to children’s organizations throughout the country. The donation will provide funding for educational programs, in particular giving these programs access to technology through the use of digital televisions, notepad computers, educational applications and online textbooks

As Brees himself recently explained at a press conference to announce the initiative, “The goals of this donation are aligned with the foundation’s mission to promote children’s education and to provide children with every opportunity to have a healthy and active lifestyle.” Utilizing his personal influence and goodwill, Brees approached companies such as Samsung and Best Buy to “take the success they have from a business perspective and direct that towards philanthropic efforts.” His personally delivered pitch resonated with both companies: Samsung pledged to donate funds locally via the Brees Dream Foundation, and through October 13, local Best Buy outlets will devote a portion of our purchase proceeds from sales of Samsung products to the foundation.

On a beautiful September day at the Saints’ practice facility—a Monday, which is typically a day off for nearly all NFL players—Brees and fellow Saints players Chase Daniel and David Thomas dedicated their free time to play football with children from the Boys & Girls Club of Southeast Louisiana. It was a day that the children would certainly remember for the rest of their lives, and Brees had more good news to deliver to the organization: the first chunk of the $300,000 donation—$30,000 total in cash and technology—would be granted to the Boys & Girls Club.

The Brees Dream Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life for cancer patients, and provide care, education and opportunities for children and families in need. The foundation, and one day spent by a very busy and heavily burdened man among and for children, is a striking reminder that while every person works, learns and plays, there is yet even more to life, a legacy of what one has given, privately and publicly, in charity, in time, in participation. While money, wisdom and memories fade, the lasting impression of any person is that permanent imprint he or she has pressed into the lives of those around them, leaving the world a better place than how it was found. Winning and wealth simply do not compare.

-PAUL WEGMANN