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Marcus Mariota

29, NFL Quarterback,
Atlanta, Georgia

While playing with the Tennessee Titans, Marcus got injured and was benched. During this time, he was able to step back and reflect. Football took so much of his identity. Going back to his foundation helped him focus on what matters. “At the end of the day, God puts us through trials and tribulations to allow us to relate to others so we can lend a helping hand.”

By focusing on creating positive change in the community, Marcus was able to accomplish many community outreach projects through a charity he created, called the Motiv8 Foundation.

In 2020, he led an initiative to distribute 1,000 meals daily while public schools were closed. Public school students 18 years old and under were able to pick up breakfast and lunch at Kauluwela and Palolo Elementary Schools. Prepared meals were placed on tables outside for students to pick up to avoid physical contact between volunteers and students. A total of 1,000 meals – 300 breakfasts and 300 lunches at Kauluwela and 200 breakfasts and 200 lunches at Palolo – were distributed to students daily.

The Motiv8 Foundation also partnered with Sweet Cheeks Winery in Eugene, Oregon. The Foundation does not only support youth, but also shelters for homeless individuals, animal shelters, as well as frontline medical professionals in hospitals. The Foundation provided:

  • 500+ meals for frontline nurses and healthcare workers, and housing for survivors of domestic violence

  • 5000+ meals to homeless shelters

  • 1000+ meals for students while schools were shut down due to COVID-19

  • 1000+ pounds of dog food to Oahu SPCA and Humane Society

In 2019, Motiv8 sponsored a job fair for people experiencing homelessness. Participants were able to interview with 12 companies/service providers, take a shower, get a haircut from stylists from Paul Mitchell, get work clothes from Shirts of Aloha and lunch from Rainbow Drive Inn. All employers were very happy with turnout and loved the concept. The goal was to find one person a job and change their life; however, at least five people received job offers and as many as five more are possible!

Prior to that, the Foundation, along with Island Insurance, presented school supplies to Likelike Elementary School. Each lucky student received a Nike backpack along with all the school supplies they needed for the upcoming school year.

Marcus joined forces with the Mayor’s Office of Nashville to provide 2,500 school supply packed backpacks to deserving students in the Nashville metro area. Marcus provided the Nike backpacks and school supplies for the event.

Motiv8 Foundation coordinated a youth art contest to be part of an awareness and fundraising campaign for Neurodegenerative Disease Awareness (ALS Therapy Development Institute).

Motiv8 worked with King’s Way Christian School in Vancouver, Washington. The school’s art program ran a contest that 60 students entered leading to 5 finalists who were able to put their design to Marcus’ game shoe and worn during the My Cleats My Cause game.

At an early age, his family taught him the value of serving others. He remembers volunteering with his family at Hawaii’s housing project and seeing the look on children’s faces by just having basic resources – books, pencils, and clothing.

He also realizes the importance of being a good role model for aspiring athletes. He wanted to teach the young people to chase their dreams with reckless abandon. Take every opportunity to be better and every day to work your hardest.

His Motiv8 Foundation continues to do various events, etc., in the community. In 2022, they implemented the first Motiv8 Lab at the Spaulding Clubhouse of the Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii. Partnering with Office Depot to install 5 computer stations and a 50” TV with Zoom Learning Center capabilities. The Lab will also have a printer, scanner, and video editing software. This is the pilot lab and based on tweets and recommendations, our goal is to set up the labs in various BGC and other organizations through Hawaii, Oregon, Las Vegas, and Atlanta.

At the age of 21, in the beginning of his professional career, he started his non-profit and there doesn’t seem to be any slowdown for Marcus in serving the community.

Marcus Mariota
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