Aaron Rodgers Donates $1 Million to Help 80 Small Businesses Struggling in His Hometown
By Jennifer Drysdale
Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Aaron Rodgers is giving a helping hand to businesses struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Green Bay Packers quarterback has donated $1 million to help 80 struggling small businesses in his hometown of Chico, California, the North Valley Community Foundation revealed on Monday.
"Small, locally owned businesses are the heart and soul of a community," Rodgers said in a press release. "In the applications and the videos, it was heart-wrenching to hear about all the obstacles facing restaurants and retail establishments. So many of them are struggling just to stay in business but remain hopeful that there's an end to this."
The football player created the Aaron Rodgers Small Business COVID-19 Fund last month with a $500,000 donation. He then increased his donation to $1 million, and the NVCF contributed another $100,000.
Nine of the business owners were notified personally by Rodgers and NVCF President and CEO Alexa Benson-Valavanis in video calls; Rodgers posted the sweet videos on his Instagram.
This isn't the first time Rodgers has given back to his hometown. The NFL star donated $1 million to Camp Fire recovery through a fund at NVCF in 2018, which eventually raised more than $3 million as his fans and business partners got on board. Rodgers was a founding member of the Butte Strong Fund along with NVCF and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. The Butte Strong Fund and other Camp Fire funds have granted $37 million for fire relief and recovery. Rodgers also has been involved in coronavirus and North Complex Fire relief efforts.
"He's, first off, just a wonderful, incredible human being. But I never thought I'd be engaged with somebody who threw balls for a living," Woodley said. "Like, I never thought as a little girl, I was like, 'Yeah, when I grow up, I'm gonna marry someone who throws balls! Yeah!' But he's really just so good at it."