Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Friday 04 December |
home iconNews
line break icon

Heisman winner Joe Burrow used spotlight to highlight poverty in Southeast Ohio

Joe Burrow

Adam Hunger | GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA | AFP

Zelda Caldwell - published on 12/20/19

Census data released today confirms that residents of the Athens County area are struggling.

During his Heisman trophy acceptance speech on Saturday, an emotional Joe Burrow used the occasion to highlight the poverty in Southeast Ohio. The LSU quarterback moved to the area in 2005 after his father accepted a coaching position at Ohio University.

“It’s a very impoverished area. The poverty rate is almost two times the national average,” he said.

“There are so many people who don’t have a lot. I’m up here for all those kids in Athens and Athens County who go home to not a lot of food on the table, hungry after school. You guys could be up here too,” he said through tears.

As reported by cleveland.com, census estimates for 2018 released Thursday confirm that relative to other parts of the country and state, the area near Athens, Ohio, is suffering.

Here’s what the data shows:

  • Athens County has the highest poverty rate in Ohio, at 30.6% The national poverty rate is 11.8%.
  • The average income is below $15,000 for one out of seven Athens County families (13.7% of the population).
  • Child poverty in Southeast Ohio is the worst in the state, ranging from 30.7% to 33.8%.

A week after Burrow’s speech, donations to the Athens County Food Pantry reached almost $500,000 according to a Facebook fundraising page.

Inspired by his speech, Louisiana State University fans have since made pledges to help the poor in their own state. According to TheAdvocate.com, $50,000 has been raised to help the poor in the Baton Rouge area.

Tags:
PovertySports
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Top 10
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful...
Andrea Bocelli
J-P Mauro
Andrea Bocelli to perform live Christmas conc...
FATHER JOHN FIELDS
John Burger
Priest who volunteered for COVID-19 vaccine t...
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to t...
Theresa Civantos Barber
Walk with Mary this Advent as a sweet alterna...
THOMAS A KEMPIS IMITATION OF CHRIST
John Burger
12 Historical figures who read 'The Imitation...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.