A look at Peyton Manning’s charity work in central Indiana

Photo of Peyton manning at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital. (WISH photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – As part of WISH-TV’s “Salute to Peyton” week, Kylie Conway went to the station’s underbelly to find archives of Peyton Manning’s years of charity work in central Indiana.

When Manning and his wife, Ashley, moved to Indianapolis in 1998 the pair immediately started giving back to the community.

“The day you leave this earth and you go up and meet the Father and he says, ‘what did you do with what I gave you,’ well, he’s given us so much. And if we get up there and have no answer what do you say to that? So, I think we have to do a lot with what we’ve been given,” said Ashely in a 2005 interview with WISH-TV Sports Director Anthony Calhoun.

Peyton and Ashley founded the Peyback Foundation in 1999. By 2005 the foundation had given out more than $1 million dollars. That number has grown considerably. According to the Peyback Foundation website, to date, the organization has provided more than $13 million dollars in grants and programs.

Peyton started the annual Thanksgiving meal giveaway. Still to this day that legacy lives on.

Each year, hundreds of central Indiana families drive through and pick up an entire meal. Back in 2009, families also got a $25 grocery gift card.

The Mannings’ focus was almost always on families, particularly children. Each year the Peyback Foundation would throw a big party at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. About 1,000 kids from 26 youth-serving agencies were invited to come. Peyton made sure to be there, racing down slides, shaking hands and making the party extra special.

Of course there is the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital. It was named after the famed quarterback back in 2007 after receiving years of generosity from Peyton.

Peyton left an everlasting mark on Indianapolis. And even today, rumor has it he regularly will call patients at the Children’s Hospital to listen to their story … in hopes of finding maybe just one more way to help.