INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts' fanbase has proven time and time again that it loves a good challenge.
It also knows when to band together in times of need.
Case in point — in response to hunger relief needs related to the COVOID-19 health emergency, Colts owner Jim Irsay this week issued a million dollar challenge to Colts Nation: as soon as $200,000 was raised locally for relief boxes from Gleaners Food Bank, Irsay would unlock a $1 million gift on top of that for his fellow Hoosier neighbors.
Not surprisingly, it didn't take long at all to get the job done. In fact, it took less than 24 hours.
The $200,000 fundraising goal has officially been met, the team has announced, meaning Irsay's $1 million promise is on its way to Gleaners, which will work to feed children and families who are out of school and off work during this challenging time.
"I am so proud of our community and so proud to call Indianapolis home because Hoosiers come together, whether in times of celebration or in times of great need. Today is no different," Irsay said. "Everyone is being affected in some way by these challenging times, but many of our friends and neighbors are being hit particularly hard. But in our usual Indianapolis way, people are coming together and reaching out to help.
"That's why I challenged those who could afford to give to help make a difference in these upcoming days and weeks," Irsay continued. "I send my deepest thanks to everyone who helped push us past $200,000 in donations to Gleaners to help feed those in immediate need, and I am pleased to add more than $1 million to that total."
Gleaners, whose mission is "to lead the fight against hunger," supplies items to hunger relief agencies and schools throughout 21 counties in central and southeastern Indiana.
Founded in 1980, Gleaners, a member of Feeding America, the nation's food bank network, has distributed more than 360 million pounds of food and critical grocery products to nearly 600 hunger relief agencies and partners serving needy Hoosiers.
"We hope that anyone who is able to help in some way, will do so," Irsay said. "And when we come through all this, we will do so together as an even better and stronger community."