SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - In 2009, San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers and his wife Tiffany started the Rivers of Hope Foundation to help unwanted, abandoned and orphaned children find permanent, loving homes. The nonprofit charity has donated more than a $1 million to agencies involved with foster care. But now, in a surprise announcement, the couple has decided to hang it up.
The announcement was posted in a press release on the non-profit charity's website.
"Tiffany and I are honored to be involved in bringing hope and awareness to the plight of foster children in San Diego County. But now we want to broaden our focus and take a behind-the-scenes approach to helping children," Rivers said.
In the news release, Rivers, whose charity used to partner with CBS 8, says he will continue to offer assistance and bring awareness to the cause of foster children in the community.
"Tiffany and I have seen great things happen in the last four years with the public foundation, and now we want to expand our personal efforts for these purposes. It takes us out of the public eye and puts the kids center-stage," the statement said.
He also says he will continue to support programs like the Rivers of Hope Birthday Club, where children awaiting adoption receive a $25 gift card on their birthday.
Rivers says he will also continue to back Camp Connect, where siblings separated in foster care spend a day of fun all together at Whispering Winds camp in Julian. He says he will also still be a cheerleader for the Heart Gallery website that shares the faces and stories of kids awaiting adoption.
News 8 left a message for the foundation's executive director Mark J. Goodwin, who is in Franklin, Tenn., but he did not return our phone call.
"We are just beginning his journey to help kids find forever families. Our hope is that we will have an even greater impact on behalf of children in the coming years," Rivers' statement said.
Last December, the foundation announced it was cancelling its annual 5k fun run. They did not explain why they pulled the plug on the popular event, which was held at Liberty Station.