ATHENS — Kirby Smart’s motto for his Georgia football team is “Do More,” and the Bulldogs head coach is applying that to his charitable foundation, as well.
Kirby and Mary Beth Smart announced the Kirby Smart Family Foundation has expanded from 27 to 50 charities in the last year, spreading much-needed funds across the state of Georgia.
“When we started our main focus was helping children and families in need, with the focus being in the state of Georgia and here locally in Athens,” Mary Beth Smart said at Wednesday’s luncheon at the West End Zone Club in Sanford Stadium.
Kirby Smart had first-hand experience dealing with charitable organizations growing up. Smart’s family dealt with the fight with cancer his older brother, Karl, overcame in high school.
“That’s probably the first life experience I had where people gave back,” said Smart, whose family stayed at a Ronald McDonald House when taking Karl to Atlanta for cancer treatments. “That’s a place my family stayed because we couldn’t stay in a hotel, we didn’t have the money.”
Now it’s the Smart family giving back to the Ronald McDonald House, as that was one of the new charities added this year.
“We’re excited to go from 27 to 50 (charities), giving almost $620,000 over the three years we’ve been in existence,” Kirby Smart said. “We’re appreciative of all the foundations we’ve had and the charities who have written requests and applied to get the money.”
People can donate / apply for funds at KirbySmartFamilyFoundation.org.
Kirby Smart teamed up wiht former Bulldogs QB David Dukes in the 2019 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge earlier this summer to raise $90,000 with a second-place finish in a celebrity event.
That money was split between an endowed scholarship at UGA and the Kirby Smart Family Foundation.
Devon Gales, the former Southern University football player paralyzed in a 2015 game against the Bulldogs, was among those in attendance in Athens on Wednesday.
Gales moved into a new home made possible by Georgia boosters and the Kirby Smart Family Foundation earlier this month.
“Just to get to see the house, and how unbelievable it was,” Kirby Smart said, “one of our board members, John Parker, has played an integral role in getting that house done.
“That was one of the places that requested funds that we were able to give to, and we’re certainly pumped for him and seeing him get to be a high school coach just brings everything back around.”