Andy Dalton is now a Dallas Cowboy after signing a one-year contract with the team Saturday, but Cincinnati Bengals fans have made sure to show appreciation for their former quarterback of nine years.
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According to The Cincinnati Enquirer, grateful Bengals fans made roughly 900 donations totaling $25,000 in just one day to the Andy & JJ Dalton Foundation after the 32-year-old’s release from the team on Thursday. All of the money donated during this time will go to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
“To see what has happened since yesterday, it’s bigger than football,” Andy Dalton said Friday on the Bengals’ official website. “We understood that, we know that and we’re feeling the love.”
Andy’s wife Jordan (JJ) told The Enquirer, “It just touches our heart. We are forever grateful for everyone for standing by us and for supporting our mission and coming alongside because Cincinnati will always have a special place in our hearts.”
The mission statement outlined on the Andy & JJ Dalton Foundation website is to “show God’s love and grace while providing support, resources and experiences to seriously ill and physically challenged children and their families.”
To show their love for the city, the Daltons donated $150,000 to help meet medical needs in the city during the coronavirus pandemic, per Adam Schefter.
God has been at work through the Andy & JJ Dalton Foundation since the couple launched it in April 2012. It has helped to raise millions of dollars to support pediatric patients in Cincinnati and in Andy’s home state of Texas, where he played quarterback at TCU from 2007-2010.
In 2019 alone, the foundation touched the lives of 1,149,723 people, according to a statement on the foundation’s website, and in 2016, the Daltons covered the medical bills for 73 families. Andy was nominated for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2016, which is given annually to honor a player’s volunteer and charity work.
The Andy & JJ Dalton Foundation received another mass influx of donations totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars from Buffalo Bills fans in 2018 after Andy led the Bengals to a last-second win that helped send the Bills to the playoffs.
In Dallas, Dalton will back up the team’s starting quarterback, Dak Prescott. The move to the Cowboys made sense for Dalton considering his family wouldn’t have to move, as they already own a home in Dallas. That means the work of their foundation will continue uninterrupted as they seek to live in the truth of Ephesians 2:10, which says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Ephesians 2:10 pic.twitter.com/c87j37kS3Y
— Andy Dalton (@andydalton14) August 28, 2019
“We really want to use our foundation as a ministry to pour into other families, whatever city we’re living in, and to help give back to the community and just to show God’s love,” Jordan told The Enquirer. “Whatever that looks like, wherever we are.”
As he did with the Bengals, Dalton knows he is “playing for a greater purpose” in Dallas.
“This sport teaches you humility and patience in all different aspects,” he said in a 2014 edition of Sports Spectrum Magazine. “There are times when you are praised and you are the hottest thing going — and then things turn, and people are trying to bring you down. You just have to know that God is in control of everything, and you are playing for Him. He has given you this talent, and so you have to tune some things out and keep the focus on Him.”
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