Since January 2020, New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston and The Dream Forever Foundation have made a significant impact in the community. Over the past five months, Winston and his Dream Forever Foundation have donated over $380,000 to various community organizations and causes. The foundation has placed special focus on helping those impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
"Being a professional athlete, I believe it is one of my responsibilities to use my platform to make a positive impact. During these unprecedented times, it's crucial that we help our neighbors in need," Winston said in a release issued by his foundation.
Over the past two months, the Dream Forever Foundation has established four COVID-19 relief efforts. Each initiative provides resources and support for economically vulnerable populations affected by the pandemic.
- COVID-19 TOLL-FREE HOTLINE: Winston partnered with Dr. Scott Kelley to develop a toll-free hot line for people impacted by the novel coronavirus. Winston and Kelley developed the hot line so people can access reliable information and resources regarding COVID-19 for free. The COVID-19 support line (844-TEST-COVID) will provide people in need with information regarding coronavirus and guidance on how you can protect yourself and others. The hot line is available to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Winston and Dr. Kelley also developed an online portal. The portal offers free interactive medical triage tests, where patients can describe their symptoms and the system will provide insight on next steps. The online portal also includes resources provided by the CDC on how people can best protect themselves against COVID-19. For more information on the hotline and online portal, visit www.drscottkelley.com.
- Metropolitan Ministries: The second organization to receive the foundation's support during the pandemic is Metropolitan Ministries. Winston and WWE star Titus O'Neil partnered to provide food and supplies for local Tampa families in need. They also donated a portion to the Hillsborough Schools to help support their teachers and staff.
- CDC of Tampa: The Dream Forever Foundation partnered with the CDC of Tampa to help eight struggling small restaurants in the Tampa community that were negatively impacted by COVID-19. This initiative is to support the struggling restaurants, while simultaneously providing meals for pre-determined families in need.
- Lunch with Jameis: Winston and his wife Breion, Birmingham, Ala. natives, donated to Kikstart Inc., a non-profit organization that provides free meals to food-insecure children. The Jefferson County School System and Birmingham City School District made the difficult decision to suspend their Meal Service Programs due to COVID-19. The children who are enrolled in these meal service programs heavily rely on these meals, so the Winstons and Kikstart, Inc. decided to take action. They developed a contactless distribution system – a food truck which allows them to safely distribute meals. This program will benefit the children in the meal service programs and will continue until school reconvenes.
The mission of Jameis Winston's Dream Forever Foundation is to impact the lives of financially disadvantaged children and youth through encouragement, opportunities and resources to develop and achieve their dreams. For more information, visit jameiswinston3.org.