Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has donated more than $1 million over the last month to small businesses impacted by COVID-19 in and around his hometown of Chico, Calif.
The North Valley Community Foundation announced Rodgers’ donations Monday in a news release. Eighty locally owned small businesses within Butte County will receive financial help from Rodgers as part of the effort. They will receive grants to help cover rent for an average of three months or longer and/or operational costs.
Rodgers notified nine of the businesses personally.
“Small, locally owned businesses are the heart and soul of a community,” Rodgers said in a news 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.”
Video of Rodgers speaking with business owners he’s helped can be seen here.
Rodgers started the fund in early February with an initial donation of $500,000. He later increased his donation to $1 million.
Rodgers has posted reaction videos on Instagram, showing the recipients as they learned of his donations.
The Packers quarterback also donated $1 million in 2018 to assist with Camp Fire, a wildfire that swept through Butte County. He also was a founding member of the Butte Strong Fund and other funds to assist with Camp Fire relief efforts, which raised more than $37 million to assist those impacted by the damage.
Rodgers, 37, attended Pleasant Valley High School in Chico and Butte College in Oroville, Calif., before he transferred to the University of California in Berkeley and later entered the NFL.The nine-time Pro Bowl selection also won his third NFL MVP Award in early February. Rodgers led the NFL with 48 touchdown passes, a 70.7 completion percentage and a 121.5 quarterback rating in 2020.