Chiefs charity spotlight: Travis Kelce's 87 & Running

The Kansas City Chiefs and their players are known across the NFL as being some of the most giving and generous people in the sport, with nearly all players on the roster sponsoring or owning their own charity organization. Arrowhead Addicts' new Charity Spotlight will shine a light on their civic efforts, starting with Travis Kelce's 87 & Running.
Travis Kelce posed with a young girl at a charity event at Kauffman Stadium
Travis Kelce posed with a young girl at a charity event at Kauffman Stadium / Kyle Rivas/GettyImages

Arrowhead Addicts' new Charity Spotlight will shine a light on their civic efforts, starting with Travis Kelce's 87 & Running.

The opening edition of Arrowhead Addicts' newest series, the Chiefs Charity Spotlight, proves that Kansas City's superstar tight end Travis Kelce is more than just a generational player and skyrocketing celebrity. He's also an extremely generous person who is deeply devoted to helping local youth.

Since 2015, Kelce has been helping underserved youth by mentoring, motivating, and celebrating them while also providing them the opportunities to develop life skills and more through fundraising, outreach initiatives, and athletic programs.

His charity, 87 & Running, was inspired by Kelce's childhood in the suburbs of Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Along with his brother, Jason Kelce, he grew up in a neighborhood marked by diverse cultures and many religions—basically one big melting pot—whiched showed the Kelces firsthand facing some families and children.

According to the charity's home page, it was the future Hall of Fame tight end who struggled in school, usually "lacking the motivation to keep going" that he figured role models from the community could help with but didn't.

Now it's the big 8-7 that is a role model for thousands upon thousands of children everywhere through his charitable efforts.

87 & Running helps all sorts of children

Kelce's charity started off with a vision nearly ten years ago, a vision that "seeks to change the outcome of underserved youth in communities across the United States by creating access to opportunities, enrichment, and advancement."

Since then, 87 & Running has provided resources and support to multiple communities by helping areas of education, business, athletics, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) as well as art programs. They do so at schools, after-school programs, and across all areas of childcare in multiple cities.

Thousands have been affected by Kelce and his charity, including "2,300 children" who have been given "access to remote learning supports, after-school enrichment, tutoring programs" and so much more according to the Executive Director of the Heights Schools Foundation. But that's just one example of 87 & Running's impact on a community right here in midwest America.

One of the more recent ways that Kelce and his charity have helped disadvantaged children was a breakfast that gave out 25,000 (yes, you read that right--twenty-five THOUSAND) meals for Kansas City with the help of Kodiak Cakes and others (below).

Kodiak Cakes isn't the only company helping 87 & Running though. With help from other partners like Operation Breakthrough, Hy-Vee, Community America and more, Kelce has been able to "empower disadvantaged youth to achieve success" by "cultivating their talent" across all fields of learning.

The creation of the Ignition Lab powered by 87 & Running

A few years ago it was announced that Kelce and 87 & Running were partnering with Operation Breakthrough to create a safe space for Kansas City teens in violent and "economically depressed" neighborhoods.

The lab, rightfully called the "Operation Breakthrough Ignition Lab: Powered by 87 & Running", will reside in a building that Kelce personally bought back in August of 2020.

Described as "a co-working space where these teens will have the support, resources, and opportunity to explore careers in STEM, launch their own entrepreneurial ventures and gain real-world experience," the Ignition Lab will help kids for years to come, even after Kelce retires.

The main co-sponsor for Ignition Lab, Operation Breakthrough, posted a video on their website with renderings of what it will look like once finished. They also posted that more than 700 urban Kansas City children visit them each weekday for food, education, health, dental care, and even therapy while their parents work or attend school themselves.

These are the children that Kelce and his organization aim to help. Children from newborn to 14 years old are helped already, but the Ignition Lab will do so much more. Helping the children that can be homeless (20% of them) and those who witness violence by the ripe age of five (65% of them).

Hopefully the Ignition Lab will be helping even more kids, keeping them from seeing and experiencing violence and malnutrition on a daily basis.

87 & Running's Social Media

The charity's Instagram account (@87running) has nearly 22,000 followers and showcases the help that Kelce provides to kids all around Kansas City, Cleveland, and more. They are constantly doing giveaways to raise money, giving away video game sets, signed jerseys, footballs, and more through their Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages so be sure to follow and help however you can!

If you'd like to donate to Kelce's charity, you can do so by visiting HERE and choosing a donation amount and frequency.

Be on the lookout for next week's Arrowhead Addict Chiefs Charity Spotlight where we'll dive into another Kansas City player's charity that might not be as popular or as heavily funded—something you can change with a retweet or post.