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March 7, 2012 / charityprofiles

Jon Bon Jovi’s Soul Foundation: One Soul at a Time

The great rock star Jon Bon Jovi created the Soul Foundation to fight social issues that force individuals and families into desperate economic situations. The funding and creation of programs support community efforts to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness.

Soul Foundation’s major focus is in establishing programs that will provide food and affordable housing while supporting social services and job training programs.

The first charitable work of the Soul Foundation was through the efforts of the Philadelphia Soul Arena Football Team and its owners (which includes Jon Bon Jovi). The Foundation commits to develop role models on the individual, corporate and community levels by developing, promoting and assisting sustainable solutions to rebuild self-pride in a person and his community – one SOUL at a time.

Bon Jovi and co-owner of the Philadelphia Soul Arena Football League (AFL) franchise Craig Spencer wanted to represent a new model for franchise ownership. They started by recruiting players who would not only be great in the football field but winners off the field. Practically everyone in the Philadelphia Soul – from SOUL players, to SOULMATES (team dancers), to SOUL MAN (the team’s mascot), to franchise management, and to office staff – represented the team’s mission to help the community by being role models.

SOUL representatives regularly make public appearances in charitable events, summer camps and community gatherings. They visit local Pennsylvania and New Jersey schools to stress the importance of education and the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Local hospitals are also visited by SOUL representatives regularly to lift the spirits of ill children.

Before the Philadelphia Soul played its first home game in January 2004, the team has already raised more than $200,000 in charitable funds. For a time, they played ‘Robin Hood’ in Philadelphia. They donated beds to the local Covenant House. They built a customized state-of-the-art playground for the century-old orphanage Northern Home for Children. Being the Entertainment Ambassador for Samsung’s Four Seasons of Hope Charities, Bon Jovi was able to channel funds for other charities like C.A.D.E. (Corporate Alliance For Drug Education,) The Philadelphia Children’s Alliance, Northern Home For Children, Philabundance, Covenant House, Inn Dwelling, Project H.O.M.E., 2nd Floor Youth Helpline and the Delaware Valley Adoption Center.

During games, Soul fans are encouraged to bring donations. Examples include teddy bears for abused children, new socks for the Covenant House, spare change for Kids with Cancer, and many others.

On August 1, 2009, Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation changed its name to Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation.

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