The Waterboys Initiative brings together athletes from across the National Football League to raise money and awareness for clean water projects in East Africa. The initiative lives out its mission of providing clean water sources to communities in need by mobilizing NFL players,fans and global supporters with the hope of making a lasting and tangible impact on one of the world’s largest crises. Waterboys was founded by NFL defensive end Chris Long and is supported by The Chris Long Foundation.
St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long formed Waterboys to utilize the National Football League’s platform to impact the world with the vision of providing clean water to communities that desperately need it. During a 2013 climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Long was struck by the beauty of Tanzania and the vibrancy of its people, but also witnessed great suffering due to a lack of clean water.
While in Tanzania, he met Doug Pitt, Goodwill Ambassador for Tanzania, and John Bongiorno, President of the non-profit WorldServe International – one of the region’s leading providers of clean water. Upon returning home, Long began to envision a pathway to champion the need for clean water in East Africa and how he could engage other NFL players in the cause. So in 2015, he started The Waterboys Initiative and selected WorldServe International as its benefiting charity.
People everywhere are entitled to clean water, but there remain people without access to this fundamental resource. In comes Long’s vision for Waterboys where he sees a tangible solution to this global epidemic through fundraising, social awareness and harmonious partnerships with NFL stars, fans, civic-minded businesses and non-profit organizations like WorldServe International. Ultimately, water wells representing each NFL team and its fan base will be created in small communities throughout Tanzania. Wells that will provide life-giving water and all that comes from it: the opportunity for education, good health and economic stability.
NFL Waterboys and their teammates will contribute funds and encourage their respective fan bases to join in this innovative initiative. With the mission of providing accessible clean water, Waterboys will be the most comprehensive football effort to impact the East Africa region. Through this initiative lies the belief that, together, we can change lives and transform entire communities for generations to come.
The Waterboys Initiative calls on the support of stars from around the National Football League to manifest its mission. One player from each of the 32 NFL teams has chosen to represent their franchise as the official “Waterboy.” Fans can help support their favorite “Waterboy” and NFL team in their journey to raise $45,000 to build a sustainable, deep borehole well and to subsequently provide water for over 5,000 people in Sub-Sahara Africa.