Here’s to Big Ben. No, not the British clock tower that recently got a face-lift, but the two-time Super Bowl winning, record-breaking retired Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. Yes, he’s made a habit of carving up defenses like a Thanksgiving turkey and evading sacks like telemarketing calls, but today we’re veering off the beaten path of pigskins and playoffs. We’ll explore a side of him that might just make you his biggest fan yet: his charity. 

Does Ben Roethlisberger Have a Foundation?

Given the name he has made for himself in football people may wonder, does Ben Roethlisberger have a foundation?The answer is, yes. In 2018, he started what is now known as the Roethlisberger Family Foundation. To be clear, this isn’t your average celebrity charity. This foundation isn’t just about writing checks and posing for photo ops (though, let’s be honest, Big Ben’s got quite the photographic smile). No, the Roethlisberger Family Foundation is all about tangible impact, about making a difference in his community. 

Initially named the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation, the name change reflects the pivot to position families and community as its focal point. At the core of those neighborhoods where everyone seems to know each other’s names, in cities where the locals wave hello and block parties feel like reunions, it’s all about the families. When the families are solid, the whole community is stronger, a bit brighter, more vibrant. Investing in those family ties is where the real magic lies — and that’s where Roethlisberger comes in.

Ben Roethlisberger: ‘We Want To Connect’

At a 2022 Christian conference, Big Ben shared the motivation behind the pivot. “[We transitioned] to the Roethlisberger Family Foundation because we want to help families, the family unit. Fathers and sons are a part of that,” stated Roethlisberger. “We want to connect fathers and sons because I feel like that’s important, I feel like it’s lost to a certain extent, and it’s what I feel passionate about. So that’s kind of where we are transitioning into.”

Ben Roethlisberger has been known to draw heavily from his Christian faith for guidance and inspiration on the field. When it comes to his altruism, that faith truly comes to life. “I really felt God was telling me that he wants me to do something with fathers and sons. I’m very close with my dad, obviously I’ve got two boys. And I feel like what’s missing in today’s society are two things. I mean, there’s a lot of things missing in society. But the two important things to me are a father, a father figure, and the outdoors,” he said. 

Growing up with a dad who was not just his hero, but also a college football and baseball athlete, Big Ben’s life has been full of moments that are nothing short of heartwarming. It’s the kind of relationship that pours into you, and Roethlisberger’s cup runneth over. He hopes to pass on the magic of those experiences to other dads and their sons. His mission statement on the foundation’s website gives us a peek at just how close he and his dad are:

“I try to live my life like my father lives his. He always takes care of everyone else first. He won’t even start eating until he’s sure everyone else in the family has started eating. Another thing: My dad never judges me by whether I win or lose. It doesn’t matter if I threw an interception or a Hail Mary, he always says, ‘Good job, son, I’m proud of you.’ Then he shakes my hand and gives me a hug. Every time.”

Camping, Fishing, Hiking

Roethlisberger’s heart is set on bringing fathers and their sons together through shared experiences meant to foster healthy connections and enrichment, all while taking in the fresh, crisp air of the outdoors. On an episode of the “Dad Tired” podcast, he divulged his blueprint for creating bonding opportunities that are not just fun, but also deeply meaningful.

Through activities like camping, fishing, and hiking, he aims to strengthen family bonds in a natural setting, where distractions of daily life are replaced by the tranquility of nature and genuine conversations. “I feel God [is] calling me to do some father-son activities, retreats,” he said. “We want to build relationships if they don’t have one or they’re new. Strengthen ones that they already have. Rebuild if there’s an issue, and then strengthen if they already have it. So we’re just fishing, horses, just anything outside. I just feel like that’s missing in today’s world.”

But it doesn’t stop at fathers and sons. How has Ben Roethlisberger contributed to his community? Big Ben collaborates with like minds who share his vision to strengthen their families and communities. “We have a small group that we get together at our house. There’s 12 of us, six couples. And it was probably three or four years ago, we all were talking about what we see as our vision of the future. How do we want to improve the city of Pittsburgh or improve our families, our church, whatever it was.” 

They plan to cultivate a space where couples can escape the hustle and bustle, reconnect, and make their bonds even stronger. “We want to do marriage things. We have this beautiful farm, this beautiful property, fishing. We have horses on there. We’re going to have a big farmhouse, a 100-year-old farmhouse my wife is redoing for people to stay at,” he explained.

Now, for a bit of color commentary: Imagine, if you will, if every NFL star tackled

philanthropy with the same energy they bring to the game in the way that Ben Roethlisberger has done. We’d truly have a league of extraordinary gentlemen.

By Manali