PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Alex Singleton is already a success story on the field.
The Eagles linebacker has gone from playing in the Canadian Football League to being a backup, to emerging as a starting linebacker. Singleton has put together an impressive 2020 season, but the Eagles aren't the only ones benefiting from his tackles. Singleton is raising money through a Pledge It campaign for every tackle he makes this season. The money goes as a donation to the Special Olympics of Pennsylvania.
The cause is near and dear to Singleton's heart. His older sister, Ashley, suffers from Down syndrome and is also a Special Olympian.
"It's huge to me to be able to have Special Olympics with my sister and just have all of the other athletes be a part of my life," said Singleton. "They’re my inspiration. It’s the reason I play with a smile. It’s the reason why I enjoy the game."
Singleton started with a goal of raising $2,000 this season. However, the combination of the attention he is getting along with a high number of tackles has enabled Singleton to surpass his original goal.
"We started with the hopes of raising about $2,000," Singleton said. "Now, it’s moved up to $10,000. In the last two weeks, I think we’ve done over $2,500, which is incredible when I look back and think of how, originally, the whole season goal was to just raise $2,000 for Special Olympics."
As long as Singleton keeps making tackles, the total should continue to rise over the final six games of the season. Whenever Singleton is going through a tough time on the football field, it is easy for him to find motivation through these special athletes.
"I've seen athletes with intellectual disabilities," said Singleton. "Just to get out up of bed is a struggle and they're out there playing soccer, bowling, swimming. Whatever sport they're in, you can see the true joy on their faces."
Ashley continues to inspire Alex as he looks to do his part to help the Eagles stay in the NFC East race. For Singleton, it provides motivation every time he takes the field.
"I'll always carry that with me and know what I'm playing for," Singleton said. "It's just exciting to be able to raise money and give back to that organization."