KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes grew up around professional athletes tagging along with his father in Major League baseball clubhouses, so he owns first-hand experience understanding the impact he can play in the lives of young fans.
“I know that just seeing (players) work and them being in the community, it drove me to be better and kind of take my talent and work harder and do all the different type of stuff,” Mahomes said. “I know that impact that athletes have, and I want to impact in kids' lives that are in my community and the areas the I've been in.”
That spirit motivated Mahomes in April to launched the 15 and the Mahomes Foundation. The organization is dedicated to improving the lives of children in the communities he has called home both in Kansas City and Texas.
“We've been able to in just a short amount of time impact the Kansas City community and the Lubbock community, and hopefully soon we can get into the Tyler community where I'm from,” Mahomes said. “This gala is kind of a stepping stone of the first one and we're able to be here and see the support that we already have in this Kansas City community.”
The foundation has backed a variety of organizations in both locations, including Children's Mercy Hospital, the Boys and Girls Clubs and Special Olympics among others.
“We want to keep doing whatever we can to help the area of Kansas City and give kids more and more opportunities to go out there and live the best lives they possibly can live,” Mahomes said. “We're going to keep looking into certain areas that we can keep improving and keep funding doing whatever we can to get the kids the proper opportunities that they need.”
The foundation recently provided a grant to Variety KC to help support playgrounds for all kids regardless of physical or mental disabilities. It was that project that made Mahomes realizes it was a successful first year for the organization.
“Just to see the kids playing with and the kids being able to go out there and have fun, it just shows with work and the platform that I have I can go out there and support the community that has given so much back to me,” Mahomes said.
On Thursday night, the 15 and the Mahomes Foundation hosted a gala fundraiser featuring the quarterback and a number of his teammates, including safety Tyrann Mathieu. Mahomes took part in a celebrity waiters dinner supporting the Tyrann Mathieu Foundation last weekend, but there's much more to the strong bond between the two players.
“Even going back to free agency and me coming here, I think he played a big part in that,” Mathieu said. “He was in my ear everyday. We're doing well this season, so it's always good to get out and support your teammates.”
Mathieu's foundation is dedicating to supporting financially disadvantaged children in both Kansas City and his hometown of New Orleans. On Thursday afternoon, Mathieu's foundation provided turkeys and other foods for Thanksgiving dinner to 320 Kansas City families.
Mathieu said he's thankful to be in a position to help others at this time in his life.
“I think anytime Thanksgiving and Christmas come around, you always think about celebrating your family, celebrating people that you love and eating great food,” Mathieu said. “I'm grateful, blessed that I was able to help a few families get a jumpstart on that this evening, and I'm sure Patrick is doing his part as well.”