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Brandon Parker, Senior Communications Manager



WASHINGTON, D.C. – Charles Leno Jr. has been named the Week 17 NFLPA Community MVP after contributing thousands of dollars in donations and in-kind gifts to 20 charities and five families in need.

“Being chosen back-to-back years as an NFLPA Community MVP means the world to me,” said Leno, who also earned this honor in 2020. “Through Beyond the Entertainer, an organization that my wife and I created, we strive to show that there is more to the entertainer -- and in my case, the athlete -- than what meets the eye. By joining forces with community organizations throughout the D.C., Chicago and Oakland areas, we can pay it forward and shed light on the amazing organizations and services that they offer.”

For the second straight year, the Washington offensive lineman hosted “Leno Claus,” a 25-day giveback initiative that positively impacted a charitable organization or family in his current team city (Washington D.C. area), former team city (Chicago) or hometown (Oakland). For the first 20 days, Leno and his foundation partner ed with 20 non-profits to address several causes, including fresh water supply, homelessness and cancer awareness. For the final five days, he adopted families and individuals that were nominated by their communities to spread some holiday cheer.

Here is a breakdown of Leno Claus’s daily efforts:

  • Day 1: Worked with UMR (United Mission Relief) to assist its winter packing event through the donation of 40 winter jackets
  • Day 2: Donated $1,000 towards Well Aware, which provided clean water for 65 individuals
  • Day 3: Partnered with the Barrington Youth Center and its Campus Life group to pack more than 800 boxes for Samaritan’s Purse, an organization that provides Christmas boxes filled with items to children all over the world
  • Day 4: Donated five noise cancelling headphones for students at each of The Reading Partners organization’s partner schools in the Bay Area
  • Day 5: Provided more than $1,000 toward The Hidden Genius Project in helping reach its end-of-year goal
  • Day 6: Hosted a bingo night at New Hope Housing homeless shelter and provided $1,000 in gift cards
  • Day 7: Supplied more than $1,000 in gifts to Women Giving Back for its annual toy drive
  • Day 8: Visited the Ronald McDonald House Charities in Greater Washington, D.C. to stock its closets with various items, while meeting with staff and residents of the home
  • Day 9: Gave $1,000 in gift cards for gas and grocery services to Step Sisters, an organization that aids individuals affected by breast cancer
  • Day 10: Supplied $1,000 in grocery gift cards to Northern Virginia Family Services
  • Day 11: Spent an afternoon purchasing nearly $6,000 in gifts for the MedStar Pediatric Wing and Toys for Tots through the Hogfarmers’ holiday toy drive
  • Day 12: Funded Northern Virginia Family Services’ Reach Out and Read program with $1,500 to help promote reading out loud every day
  • Day 13: Worked with The Superhero Project to raise funds and provide a $1,000 donation toward a NICU in Philadelphia
  • Day 14: Donated $1,500 to help purchase 100 LEGO STEM kits for students through Athletes for Charity
  • Day 15: Partnered with Empowered Mums to provide groceries for 10 single moms
  • Day 16: Contributed more than $1,000 in holiday gifts for Friends of Emery Community Center’s Breakfast with Santa event
  • Day 17: Purchased lunch for 250 people at Spring Dell Center for its annual holiday drive-by
  • Day 18: Donated 10 youth bikes to the Webster Foundation for its holiday gala
  • Day 19: Provided more than $1,000 in cleaning supplies and dog items to Lonely Hearts Animal Rescue
  • Day 20: Partnered with Atlanta Falcons linebacker Brandon Copeland and his foundation, Beyond the Basics, as well as The Covenant House of Greater Washington, and Washington Football Team’s offensive line to provide more than $16,000 for a holiday shopping spree
  • Day 21: Paid for groceries and rent in December for a single mother who moved to the U.S. to provide a better life for her daughter but was hit hard by the pandemic
  • Day 22: Provided $1,500 toward the mortgage of a woman who recently lost her husband to cancer
  • Day 23: Donated four suite tickets and a parking pass to a Washington game to a woman battling breast cancer that has spread throughout her body
  • Day 24: Supplied tickets to a Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox baseball game in July for a family of six whose daughter was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder that caused her kidney to fail before her father donated his kidney to save her life
  • Day 25: Purchased a new laptop for college for a 17-year-old girl who was recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer and lost her father to cancer in May.

Since signing with Washington this past spring after playing his first seven years with Chicago, Leno has made a point to help out in some way each month during the current season. So far, he has purchased more than 5,000 hygiene items and essentials for Afghan refugees; donated 40 backpacks filled with school supplies to The Beacon House; surprised 200 students with board games at Alice Deal Middle School, where he discussed the importance of spending time with family; provided more than $2,000 in free coffee for people during September’s National Coffee Day; donated 100 snack packs to Women Giving Back and hosted a volunteer event that raised $1,500; paid for a breast cancer patient’s rent and bills during the month of October; donated nearly 100 Halloween costumes for children through Martha’s Table; hosted a young boy with cancer in a suite for a Washington football game and threw him a pre-game tailgate birthday party; and celebrated more than 130 staff members at Latin American Youth Center with breakfast and gift cards for their hard work through the ongoing pandemic.

In honor of Leno being named this week’s Community MVP, the NFLPA will make a $10,000 contribution to his charity or foundation of choice. Our supporting partner, Aldine Sports Association, will create customized T-shirts and hoodies featuring his unique Community MVP superhero illustration made by HEARTLENT Group. The apparel will be sold on ASA’s website during the season, with a portion of all proceeds going to Leno’s foundation or charity of choice.

Leno, along with the other 2021 Community MVPs, will 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.

2021 NFLPA Community MVP winners:
Week 1: Justin Reid, Houston Texans
Week 2: Adam Thielen, Minnesota Viking
Week 3: Emmanuel Sanders, Buffalo Bills
Week 4: Arik Armstead, San Francisco 49ers
Week 5: Jared Goff, Detroit Lions
Week 6: Von Miller, Denver Broncos
Week 7: Brett Hundley, Indianapolis Colts
Week 8: Chris Harris Jr., Los Angeles Chargers
Week 9: Zach Ertz, Arizona Cardinals
Week 10: James Smith-Williams, Washington Football Team
Week 11: Lawrence Guy, New England Patriots
Week 12: Darius Leonard, Indianapolis Colts
Week 13: Will Gholston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 14: Rodney McLeod, Philadelphia Eagles
Week 15: Brandon McManus, Denver Broncos
Week 16: Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers


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.