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Colin Kaepernick Donates $100K to COVID-19 Relief Efforts: ‘We Need Each Other Now More than Ever’

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Todd Kirkland/AP/Shutterstock

Colin Kaepernick is paying it forward to help those in need during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

On Thursday, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback announced on social media that he will give six figures to his Know Your Rights campaign’s COVID-19 response effort. The charitable fund aims to help those disproportionately affected by the pandemic, aiding in areas like food, shelter, education and more.

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“We need each other now more than ever,” wrote Kaepernick on Instagram. “I’m donating $100,000 to the Know Your Rights Camp COVID-19 Relief Fund. This Fund was created to raise money and awareness to the disproportionate impact this pandemic is having on Black and Brown communities. Join us in our mission‬ 🖤✊🏾.”

Total donations for the cause have reached $137,229, as of Friday, April 17, according to its official website.

The Know Your Rights Camp’s mission, according to its website, is to “advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization and the creation of new systems that elevate the next generation of change leaders.”

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In February, the football player and activist announced that he will soon publish a book. Described as “part political awakening and part memoir,” it will document the experiences that led Kaepernick to begin his silent protest during the NFL preseason in 2016 by kneeling during the national anthem.

“My protest was the culmination of years of thought and experiences, of learning and unlearning,” Kaepernick said in a statement in February. “I want to tell the story of my evolution, and the events that led me to protest systemic oppression, in hopes that it will inspire others to rise in action.”

The athlete added: “I am excited that through this groundbreaking partnership between Kaepernick Publishing and Audible, we can elevate Black and Brown voices who can empower future generations.”

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Though Kaepernick isn’t playing in the NFL at the moment, he’s keeping busy through activism and altruistic causes.

While his former team was competing against the Kansas City Chiefs at Super Bowl LIV in February, Kaepernick toured the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, New York, then served food at the shelter with members of Know Your Rights Camp and the Lower East Side Girls Club of New York.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.