Matthew Stafford, Wife Kelly Help Detroit Community Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 26, 2020

FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2015, file photo, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and his wife Kelly smile while watching the Detroit Pistons play the Cleveland Cavaliers during an NBA basketball game, in Auburn Hills, Mich. Matthew is juggling his job on the field and his role as a husband and father as his wife, Kelly, recovers from surgery to remove a brain tumor. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson, File)
Duane Burleson/Associated Press

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and his wife, Kelly Stafford, have pledged $220,000 to help several local programs aimed at aiding the Detroit area during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Mike O'Hara of the Lions' official website reported the Staffords committed $100,000 apiece to the Forgotten Harvest, which delivers food to local charities, and the Detroit Public Schools Community District to help students impacted by the COVID-19 situation.

They also established a $5,000 credit to four restaurants—Slow's to Go, Zingerman's Deli, Wahlburger's and Roadside B&G—that are located in areas with a high population of hospital workers and first responders.

"Obviously, Kelly and I feel really blessed to be in the situation we're in," Stafford said. "Some of that comes with respect to the people who are in your community and have been having a hard go of it. This virus is affecting all people, and people in all areas. We're trying to help out what is home to us, and what's been home to us for 12 years."

The 32-year-old Florida native said his family wanted to help those on the front lines of the crisis.

"We're going to take some heat off them and put some meals on us," Stafford said. "It's our way to say, 'We appreciate you,' and fuel them up for the fight. We're just trying to inject some cash [in small business] and have those people staying safe."

In September, Kelly Stafford explained to Click On Detroit the community's support while she was recovering from surgery to remove a brain tumor transformed her view of the city and made it feel like a true home.

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"I remember calling my mom and being like, 'I have talked poorly about this place because of how I feel they sometimes that they treat my husband,'" she said. "I called her, and I was like, 'I feel terrible that I've ever resented this place.' After feeling the love that I've felt from here and the support, which I needed, and I pulled from a lot."

Meanwhile, while player movement has continued as normal during the NFL offseason, team activities have been delayed indefinitely because of the coronavirus.

Matthew said he'll be ready whenever they're given the green light to practice after missing the final eight games last season with a back injury, per O'Hara.

"No doubt," he said. "I kept up with what we're doing, and other teams across the league. It's one of the few things to take your mind off what's going on around the world."

Stafford was the first overall pick by the Lions in the 2009 draft and has spent his entire 11-year career with the franchise.

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