LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – December 10, 2020 – The Washington Football Team announced today Jonathan Allen as its nominee for the WALTER PAYTON NFL MAN OF THE YEAR AWARD PRESENTED BY NATIONWIDE. Considered the league's most prestigious honor, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field. Each of the league's 32 nominees were announced today.
Jonathan Allen was selected for his deep commitment to the community. Throughout his time with Washington, he has participated in a number of events hosted by the Washington Football Charitable Foundation. He guided students from Dreams for Kids DC through football drills, packaged weekend bags for Prince George's County Elementary School students at the Capital Area Food Bank and welcomed 200 elementary school kids into the Washington locker room at FedExField to meet Santa and take home toys for Christmas. Throughout his four years on the team, Jonathan has looked for ways to support and improve the lives of children in the community where he was raised.
In 2019, Allen began working with Sasha Bruce Youthwork (SBY), which is a nonprofit organization in Washington, DC that helps homeless youth find safe homes, achieve and maintain good physical and mental health, create and strengthen supportive and stable families, and explore opportunities in education and careers. Jonathan and his wife Hannah have made significant time and financial contributions to Sasha Bruce Youthwork, including unveiling an Innovation Lounge. The Jonathan and Hannah Allen Innovation Lounge is a multidisciplinary space designed by and for youth and is located in the Bruce House, which is DC's only homeless youth shelter for minors. The lounge offers a fun and innovative space to inspire creativity, open-mindedness and an entrepreneurial spirit among homeless and runaway youth.
"I am incredibly honored to receive this nomination and am empowered by this opportunity to expand even further how my wife and I give back to the community I love," said Jonathan Allen. "I am proud to continue to support the work of the Washington Football Charitable Foundation as well as Sasha Bruce Youthwork and the amazing work they are doing for our youth. The relationships and impact the youth have made on myself and my wife pales in comparison to the impact we have made on their lives. As someone who has been through the foster system myself, I am very passionate about making an impact on their lives and being a resource for them moving forward. I hope to continue to be a positive example that these kids can follow and see that it's not impossible to come out of any situation and be successful."
Most recently, Allen has continued his work with Sasha Bruce Youthwork by participating in weekly counseling sessions with youth in the community as well as contributing $45,000 to their Rapid Response funding initiative. Jonathan and Hannah also served on the planning committee for the annual Sasha Bruce gala. This past Thanksgiving, Jonathan and Hannah donated meals to more than 85 families within the Sasha Bruce community and will be sponsoring the holiday wish lists for all the kids staying at the Sasha Bruce House this holiday season.
"I was fortunate enough to play with Walter, and Jonathan exemplifies the type of teammate and type of person that Walter Payton was," said Head Coach Ron Rivera. "Within the team, Walter was a leader and everybody's friend, and, in the community, he was a servant just like Jonathan. Giving back is very important, and I am proud of Jonathan for his commitment to giving back to our community and investing time, energy and resources into impacting the next generation."
As a nominee, Jonathan Allen will wear a Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year helmet decal through the end of the season in recognition of his accomplishments on and off the field.
For the third year in a row, all 32 team winners will be highlighted as nominees and recognized for their important work during the weekend leading up to Super Bowl LV. The 2020 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year will be announced during NFL Honors, a primetime awards special to air the week of Super Bowl LV, on CBS.
All 32 nominees will receive a $40,000 donation in their name to their charity of choice. The winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award will receive a $250,000 donation to the charity of their choice. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation and Nationwide.
Fans are encouraged to participate in Nationwide's 6th annual Charity Challenge, a social media campaign designed to support and promote team nominees. Fans can vote on Twitter by using #WPMOYChallenge followed by their favorite nominee's last name. The player whose unique hashtag is used the most between Dec. 10 and Jan 17will receive a $25,000 contribution to their charity of choice, while the second and third place finishers will receive $10,000 and $5,000 donations, all courtesy of Nationwide. Hashtag information and official rules can be found at nfl.com/manoftheyear. New this year, fans can win NFL Shop gift cards and additional money for their favorite nominee's charity. Each Monday during the #WPMOYChallenge, Nationwide will ask fans to respond on Twitter with their favorite nominee and one randomly selected fan each week will win a $100 NFL Shop gift card and $2,500 for their favorite nominee's charity.
More information about the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award can be found at http://www.nfl.com/manoftheyear.