Terrell Owens' Charity Work

Contributor: Michele Meleen
Terrell Owens attends the 81 Cares Bowl

Terrell Owens charity work has taken his stardom beyond the football field and into the hearts of many families. His extensive work and commitment is helping to make the world a better place.

Who Is Terrell Owens?

Terrell Owens was born in Alabama in 1973, and first came into the national spotlight as a wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers. He has also been under contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills. Despite his extensive, and often colorful, football career, Terrell Owens has also dedicated a large amount of time toward helping others. Namely, he started his own charity called the Catch a Dream Foundation, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping underprivileged families with children.

Catch a Dream

The Catch a Dream Foundation has a continual goal of providing basic needs to low-income families, providing children with the simple things they need to go on to focus on the more important aspects of life - education, strong family and safety. Together with their partners and sponsors, the Catch a Dream Foundation has helped to provide food, shelter and other resources for many families.

In December 2008, Terrell Owens' charity work took center stage for the 2nd annual celebrity charity event that was sponsored by many notable companies and famous faces. Known also as the "December to Remember" event, this doubled as a birthday party for the football star, and the evening raised money for 81 families in need.

Sponsors included:

  • Dr Pepper Snapple Group
  • JC Penny
  • Grey Goose
  • Albertsons
  • Baby Phat
  • Wachovia Bank
  • Michael Jordan
  • Kobe Bryant
  • Lebron James

Terrell Owens' Charity Work Continued

Outside of Catch a Dream, Owens is working hard to better the lives of others through various avenues.

Alzheimer's Awareness

Owens' Alzheimer's awareness work started when his grandmother was diagnosed with the disease in 1996. Events like his 2011 Speakeasy Soiree and 2013 Longest Day raise awareness about the disease and funds that get donated to Alzheimer's research.

Food Bank of WNY

In September 2009, he helped launch a large-scale fundraising campaign to benefit the Food Bank of Western New York. Dubbed "81 Tackles Hunger," Terrell Owens has done a lot of high-profile promotion for this prominent food bank that has been helping hungry families since 1979.

81 Cares

Continuing with his trend to celebrate a worthy cause at his birthday parties, in 2010 Owens hosted the 81 Cares Celebrity Bowl. The event benefitted the Greater Cincinnati Foundation to help local families in need have food for the holiday season. GQ sponsored the event, which included other celebrity guests like Chad Ochocinco and Adrienne Bailon.

Reality TV for Charity

In 2015 Owens appeared on The Celebrity Apprentice to raise money for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. In 2017 he signed up for MTV's The Challenge: Champs vs. Stars to compete and raise money for KY Cares Foundation, a Canadian charity dedicated to cancer research and helping underprivileged kids see past their upbringing. Owens ultimately left the show to avoid a physical altercation.

His Motivation

While Terrell Owens did not grow up in complete poverty, he experienced humble beginnings in Alabama where he watched his mother work double shifts to help support the family as a single parent. Seeing how hard she worked to keep their heads above water, he grew inspired as an adult to make a difference wherever he could.

Recognition

For these areas of non-profit work, along with many others, Terrell Owens has received some awards and accolades. In March 2009 he attended the sixth annual National Alzheimer's Gala in Washington DC to receive the Young Champions Award.

Working Off the Field

From debilitating illnesses affecting the elderly to improving the lives of America's youngest citizens, Owens has truly made a name for himself as a philanthropist. He continues to work hard at various charity endeavors, bringing much purpose to his life outside of his football career.

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Terrell Owens' Charity Work