In football, "third and long" is a desperate situation where a team must gain monumental yardage for a first down. The children helped by theThird and Long Foundation face similar challenges when battling situations of delinquency, drugs, violence, crime and unemployment. The programs inner-city children live in communities where high levels of convectional literacy often are neither expected nor rewarded. Just as sacking the quarterback in a third and long situation slows the other team's momentum, Derrick Thomas hoped that the foundation would "sack illiteracy" in the lives of the children in the program. The Foundation, founded by Derrick in 1990, has achieved prominence in the Greater Kansas City community and recognition on a national level. "Kindergarten to 12th grade is a third and long situation," Derrick said. "These grade levels often determine whether many kids make it and go on to success, or are forced into discouraging situations."
Your donations go towards providing professional tutoring for the children enrolled in the Third and Long Reading Club. Along with weekly tutoring the children also enjoy special events such as attending a Kansas City Chiefs game, KC Royals, and special guests. The Third and Long Foundation also provides scholarships to children completing at least one year of the reading program for use at higher learning colleges and universities upon graduation.
The Third and Long Foundation also hosts an annual Thanksgiving Dinner Food Drive every year as well as a 'Christmas is for Kids' program at Christmas. Proceeds from donations go towards funding these programs.