On October 3rd, ahead of the San Francisco 49ers "Monday Night Football" contest against the Los Angeles Rams, defensive lineman Arik Armstead presented a generous donation of $250,000 to Mercy Housing California, an organization that builds, owns and manages affordable homes for more than 20,000 Californians throughout the state, while also providing free resident services designed to help families thrive.
Armstead's donation will build on the education equity work that he has funded at Mercy Housing since launching the Armstead Academy in support of Sacramento youth. Through the Armstead Academic Project, Mercy Housing has provided year-round academic support, leadership opportunities and career exploration activities for hundreds of K-12 youth participants living in under-invested neighborhoods.
Armstead's newest contribution will provide services to 300 more youth in the Sacramento area and pilot an evidence-based summer reading program.
"We remain committed to positively impact youth lives by providing the resources, tools and positives spaces they need to thrive," Armstead said in an Instagram post.
"Mercy Housing California and the Armstead Academic Project are aligned in our vision for a world in which a young person's race, family income or zip code never poses a barrier to their success," Mercy Housing California director of community life, Ashlei Hurst said. "It has been a joy to support Armstead Academy youth as they identify and work to achieve their long-term college and career goals, and we look forward to building on the great success of this program's first year."
Armstead has supported Mercy Housing since his sophomore season with the 49ers in 2016. The defensive lineman has included Mercy Housing youth in free football camp and health clinics, sponsored field trips to the Imaginarium and Levi's® Stadium, and hands-on career exploration opportunities. In May of 2020, during the COVID-19 outbreak, Armstead fought to close the "digital divide" by donating and personally delivering 350 Chromebooks to students living in Mercy Housing residences in the Sacramento-area.
Check out Armstead's latest activity with this foundation, where he read to 170 elementary students in the Bay Area about the power of overcoming obstacles:
View some of Arik Armstead's best moments in the community with the 49ers and his foundation, the Armstead Academic Project. To honor his extensive work in the community, the 49ers have named Armstead as their 2020 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee, presented by Nationwide.