Denver's Justin Simmons Named Week 6 NFLPA Community MVP
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Justin Simmons has been named the Week 6 NFLPA Community MVP after donating more than $30,000 to youth development programs in Denver and raising enough funds to replace a dangerous playground at a local elementary school.
“My wife, Taryn, and I are honored to be named this week’s NFLPA Community MVP,” Simmons said. “Empowering and educating our youth has always been our passion.”
On October 7, Simmons hosted his foundation’s second annual "An Evening with Justin Simmons” fundraiser. There, in a nod to Justin’s No. 31 jersey number for the Denver Broncos, he and Taryn donated $10,031.31 each to the Denver Public Schools Foundation, Boys Hope Girls Hope of Colorado and the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver. Simmons also invited a group of kids from the benefiting organizations to spend the special evening with him and some of his Broncos teammates, including Calvin Anderson, Bradley Chubb, Melvin Gordon, P.J. Locke, Brandon McManus, Netane Muti, Tim Patrick, Mike Purcell, Dalton Risner and Pat Surtain II.
During the auction portion of the event, the principal of Green Valley Elementary School shared how the school’s old, rusted playground was leaving students with cuts and scrapes. Simmons was inspired to take action as he pledged to match all donations that night up to $25,000 so the play area could be replaced. Spurred by Simmons’ promise, attendees at the gala, including his teammates, raised enough money to provide the students with a new playground.
The evening was capped by Simmons honoring three of his own MVPs for their meaningful efforts to better the Denver community – Mary Fran Tharp, executive director of Boys Hope Girls Hope of Colorado; Karina Muro, an educator at Eagleton Elementary School; and Dr. Abbey Lara, a pulmonologist and critical care doctor at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital.
“Thank you to all those who continue to support our vision,” Simmons said. “Let’s continue to be the difference!”
The All-Pro safety and his wife started the Justin Simmons Foundation in 2020 with a mission to mentor young people through development programs, while promoting the benefits of youth sports and education. For the past two years, they have worked tirelessly to give back to children and their families in the Denver area. As a result, Simmons was chosen by the local media last season to receive the inaugural Demaryius Thomas Team MVP award, which goes to the Broncos player who best reflects the late Thomas’s legacy on and off the field.
Since being drafted by the Broncos in 2016, he has given back to more than 20 different local organizations that focus on youth development, hunger relief, health & wellness, youth football and civic engagement. For his foundation's first initiative in 2020, “31 For The Holidays,” he supported three charitable organizations, each located in one of the three places he has called home – South Florida, Boston and Denver. Thanks to 360 donations, Simmons was able to provide grants that funded gifts for more than 130 children and supported 25 families with meals and utility bill assistance.
By leaning on the virtues of his family and faith, Simmons finds great reward in supporting others in all walks of life -- from building houses with Habitat for Humanity, to visiting children battling terminal illnesses at the Denver Children’s Hospital to participating in a fashion show with the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, supporting others is incredibly rewarding to him because he has been in their shoes.
In honor of Simmons being named this week’s Community MVP, the NFLPA will make a $10,000 contribution to his charity or foundation of choice. Simmons will also take part in a virtual or in-person visit to a school or children’s hospital. Along with the other 2022 Community MVPs, he will also become eligible for this year’s Alan Page Community Award, which is the highest honor that the NFLPA can bestow upon a player.
The Community MVP campaign is part of the NFLPA’s continued efforts to support the year-round, civic outreach and engagement of its player members. Please visit the NFLPA Community MVP website to learn more about the program.
2022 NFLPA Community MVP winners:
Week 1: Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns
Week 2: Terry McLaurin, Washington Commanders
Week 3: Cody Davis, New England Patriots
Week 4: Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders
Week 5: John Metchie III, Houston Texans
Week 6: Justin Simmons, Denver Broncos
About the NFL Players Association:
The National Football League Players Association is the union for professional football players in the National Football League. Established in 1956, the NFLPA has a long history of assuring proper recognition and representation of players’ interests. The NFLPA has shown that it will do whatever is necessary to assure that the rights of players are protected—including ceasing to be a union, if necessary, as it did in 1989. In 1993, the NFLPA again was officially recognized as the union representing the players and negotiated a landmark Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL. The current CBA will govern the sport through the 2030 season. Learn more at www.nflpa.com.