Israel Idonije ramps up his foundation with new name
November 17th, 2017
Israel Idonije is ramping up work on his charitable foundation, even though his name no longer adorns the masthead.
The Israel Idonije Foundation has been rebranded to iF Charities.
He tells me the organization will continue to stay focused on under-served youth in Chicago, Winnipeg and West Africa. They’re all places he’s called home, having been born in Nigeria, raised in Canada and rooted now in Chicago.
“It’s not about me or having my name on it. I want this to be about helping the community,” Idonije says.
He grew up in Manitoba playing basketball and cricket before joining the YMCA and trying football. Idonije would be picked up by the Cleveland Browns before joining the Bears in 2003. He was released in 2012 and played a year in Detroit before returning to Chicago.
He’s been an entrepreneur ever since–even writing a comic book about athlete superheros. Scroll down this Sun-Times story to read about another writing project.
Idonije’s iF Charities runs sports camps and community projects for young people. It’s latest venture is a coding camp. It recently teamed with Blaze Pizza and Bank of America to raise funds to start that project.
“The goal is to give kids the skill set and the ability to code,” says Idonije, siting the need to fill more than 1 million tech jobs in the next three years.