At age 30 and in his eighth season with the Chicago Bears, NFL kicker Robbie Gould has built an impressive career for himself. That career includes notable statistics, like his 2006 selection for the NFL Pro Bowl and being the third most accurate kicker in NFL history. However, when it comes to his legacy, Gould says, “I hope I’m remembered more for what I do off the field than what I do on the field.” It is this hope that led Gould to launch The Goulden Touch public charity and partner with various businesses to help Chicago’s less fortunate.
In starting The Goulden Touch, Gould has set out to help those in need through the public charity’s four pillars: education, medial research, health and wellness, and social service. What is unique about Gould’s adoption of these four pillars, is that Gould has partnered with various corporations to fulfill the needs of each pillar. Gould has partnered with eighteen businesses and corporations during the course of The Goulden Touch’s existence. One major partner has been medical insurance company Humana, who sponsors The Goulden Touch’s health and wellness pillar. Humana’s partnership with The Goulden Touch involves monetary support, along with participation and creation of events to fulfill the organization’s mission.
“Our partnership with The Goulden Touch is a natural extension of Humana’s mission of helping people achieve lifelong well-being,” said David Reynolds, president of Humana’s Commercial market in Illinois. “Humana is the primary partner and sponsor for all of the initiatives that fall under The Goulden Touch’s health and wellness pillar. We found this partnership to be an excellent opportunity to work with a well-known Chicago athlete whose charitable organization can help us reach a greater number of people with our health and well-being messages.”
Most recently, The Goulden Touch and Humana have joined forces with a group of Chicago high schools, DuPage Medical Group, Edward Hospital, Rockford Health System and the the Northern Illinois Food Bank’s BackPackProgram to end childhood hunger in Chicago. The Goulden Touch’s “Kicking Hunger” campaign launched in September and is aimed at fundraising for weekend food supplies for the one in five northern Illinois children facing hunger. The program provides children at risk of hunger with a weekend’s supply of child-friendly, nutritious food, such as cereal, peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese, whole grain pasta, canned fruits and vegetables and low-sodium soup. The cost for each backpack’s worth of food supplies is $15. The program reaches an average of 1,200 children weekly in 93 northern Illinois schools.
Later this year, The Goulden Touch will host its second annual Mooseheart Child & City School holiday shopping event. The event provides the children who are residents of Mooseheart Child & City School with an opportunity that they likely wouldn’t have otherwise to purchase gifts for their friends and families. Last year, The Goulden Touch provided 99 children with $125.00 to spend on a shopping spree at Target. This year, Gould hopes to expand the program to reach over 100 children and to offer the children $150.00 to spend. “It’s amazing to be able to watch the smiles on their face, the glow that they have and how excited they get over something as small as buying a football. It’s very gratifying to be able to give back to a community who has accepted me and give me a lot of opportunities to be successful,” Gould noted.
With its growing business partnerships and the number of members of the Chicago community it is reaching, one can imagine that serving as The Goulden Touch’s founder keeps an already busy NFL player even busier. However, Gould finds joy in the time he dedicates to The Goulden Touch and helping the less fortunate. “Anything you’re passionate about, you find time for. I’m very passionate about helping out in the community and inspiring young people. We [the Bears] have Monday’s off, so I do a lot of charity work on Monday’s. However, it’s always something I make time for. It gives you inspiration to play on Sunday’s and be a positive role model for those who look up to you,” Gould said.
To learn more about the Goulden Touch, click here.