Matthew Stafford, wife give $1 million going away gift to Detroit

USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Stafford spent 12 years in Detroit. He made a lot of memories, even if he never won a playoff game there.

The quarterback, whom the Lions recently traded to the Rams, is leaving something permanent behind in Detroit.

Stafford and his wife, Kelly, announced Thursday they are pledging $1 million to help build a new education center with SAY Detroit. SAY Detroit is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping students from low-income families overcome literacy inequalities and educational challenges.

“The Kelly and Matthew Stafford & Friends Education Center” will be built in Detroit’s Lipke Park on the grounds of SAY Detroit’s Play Center. The 20,000-square-foot facility will include six classrooms, learning labs, an auditorium and vocational training space.

“There are not enough words to truly express how grateful we are to have lived here for the past 12 years,” Kelly Stafford wrote in a long post on Instagram. “We came here for football, but we are leaving with a sense of home and endearment. Endearment not only for this city and the Lions organization, but a love for the people who make up this community. Detroit has supported our family not only by showing up on Sundays, but also through our most difficult times. You took us in as your own and made Detroit feel like home and that is what it became, our home.

“It has been our goal to always give back to the city. Detroit and its people have blessed us in so many ways, we only hope you have felt our gratitude through our joy of giving back to the city.”