CHARACTER COUNTS

Former NFL player Chris Long donates to improve Navajo Nation water access

Jul 8, 2020, 1:02 PM | Updated: 1:28 pm

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - NOVEMBER 25: Chris Long #56 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on during...

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - NOVEMBER 25: Chris Long #56 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on during warmups before the game against the New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field on November 25, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Former NFL defensive end Chris Long and his foundation have pledged $100,000 to improve water access on the Navajo Nation, according to a press release.

The money will go toward DigDeep’s Navajo Water Project, which is Indigenous-led and staffed.

The project installs solar-powered, 1,200-gallon water systems in the grounds of homes that are serviced and refreshed with clean water.

The donation from Long’s foundation, called the Hometown H20 program, will allow for 200 temporary systems of 275 gallons each to be placed in remote Navajo Nation homes before the permanent systems are installed once coronavirus protocols are relaxed.

It is estimated that more than 30% of residents in the Navajo Nation do not have water at home, according to the press release. The communities in the Navajo Nation have been hit hard by the pandemic, leading to shutdowns and curfews to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Tribal Department of Health officials said on Tuesday that 7,941 people on the vast reservation that spans parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah have tested positive with 379 known deaths.

Long and his wife, Megan, will donate $50,000, while his foundation will match the other half of the initial gift. He hopes his efforts raise awareness, and public donations for the project can be made at waterboys.org/hometown.

“Everyone in America deserves access to water, but many rural and Indigenous families lack even one faucet with running water in their homes, a necessity most of us take for granted – especially during this pandemic,” Chris Long said in a release.

Long and DigDeep founder George McGraw scheduled an Instagram Live conversation on Thursday at 4 p.m. MST to discuss the initiative. Supporters and fans can watch Long’s and DigDeep’s feeds to learn more.

Long is a two-time Super Bowl champion who played for the St. Louis Rams, New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles from 2008-2018.

Character Counts

Manager Torey Lovullo (L) and general manager Mike Hazen of the Arizona Diamondbacks meet before Ga...

David Veenstra

MLB feature showcases inseparable bond between Diamondbacks’ Hazen and Lovullo

MLB published a short-form documentary centered around the friendship between D-backs general manager Mike Hazen and manager Torey Lovullo. 

12 days ago

Devin Booker gifts Purdue men's basketball with Book 1s...

Arizona Sports

Phoenix Suns’ Devin Booker gifts pair of Final Four teams Nike Book 1s

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker gifted Alabama and Purdue men's basketball teams with Nike Book 1s ahead of the Final Four.

13 days ago

Paris Johnson Jr. looks on...

Tyler Drake

Cardinals’ Paris Johnson Jr. eyeing ways to extend his foundation’s reach in Arizona

Don't let his age fool you, Cardinals offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr. is no stranger to giving back to the communities around him.

1 month ago

Runners take off after the starting gun at Pat's Run in Tempe. The race, will be run on April 13 th...

Character Counts

The 20th annual Pat’s Run set take place in Tempe on April 13

The 20th iteration of Pat's Run is set to take place in Tempe on April 13 to honor the life and legacy of Pat Tillman.

1 month ago

Follow @AZSports...

Character Counts

Bradley Beal hooked up Devin Booker fans who supported Suns in Denver

Suns fans who showed up to in Devin Booker jerseys at Ball Arena in Denver got a special gift from Bradley Beal afterward.

1 month ago

Aani Nagaiah, front row far right, is the winner among 10 finalists for the 2024 Character Counts s...

Character Counts

Arcadia senior wins 2024 Character Counts Scholarship

Arcadia's Aani Nagaiah on Wednesday night was presented as the winner of the 2024 Character Counts scholarship courtesy of Parker & Sons.

2 months ago

Former NFL player Chris Long donates to improve Navajo Nation water access