TAMPA — Wide receiver Mike Evans has established himself as one of the best players in Bucs history. He is just as valuable to his community off the field.
The Mike Evans Family Foundation has pledged a $100,000 donation for COVID-19 relief efforts, including $50,000 to the United Way Suncoast to provide support in Tampa Bay.
“These critical dollars will do so much to help families who are struggling in this crisis,” Jessica Muroff, CEO of United Way Suncoast, said in a statement released by the team.
It’s estimated that the donation will help more than 53,000 people in need living in 31,000 households in Tampa Bay. The nonprofits provide meals to school-age children, childcare support for kids whose parents are considered essential workers, aid residential foster care and provide shelter for homeless youth.
Half of the donation, or $50,000, will be donated to aid relief in Evans’ hometown of Galveston, Texas.
“It’s awesome. It’s not surprising for Mike," general manager Jason Licht said. "He was our Man of the Year candidate from the Bucs last year, and deservedly so. He’s just an awesome, awesome person. I feel like in our entire locker room, we’ve got a bunch of great guys. Tom (Brady) and Gisele (Bundchen) donated to the community as well. I know there’s been talks of a bunch of different players on our roster that are looking for the best way to help the community in this situation, so I’m sure it won’t be the last person.
“It definitely makes you feel great. It makes feel like you’re doing a good job with my staff and Bruce (Arians) and his staff of bringing in the right kind of guys. To win a championship you do need some talent, but you have to have the right kind of guys and you have to have the right 53. I think we have the right locker room right now.”
Evans and his wife, Ashli, began the foundation in 2017 to set up scholarships and grants to help support educational development while also aiding women and families battling domestic violence.
Last year, Evans gifted the University of South Florida a $25,000 grant to help start a scholarship fund for local students. He also has made significant donations to his alma mater, Texas A&M, to help support students from his hometown.