One of the first things Bachelor Nation learned about Colton was his charity work. But what is Colton's charity for? The former pro-football player decided to dedicate his time to helping children after he could no longer play football.
Colton's charity is called the Colton Underwood Legacy Foundation and according to its website, the charity's mission is to "empower people with Cystic Fibrosis to live fully, dream big and support each other." The foundation not only raises money to support those with Cystic Fibrosis, but provides equipment for them as well. Since 2015, when Colton started the foundation, it has apparently given over $100,000 in donations and equipment to patients.
Colton started the foundation because of his little cousin, Harper, who has cystic fibrosis (CF). In a video on the website, Colton introduces himself and Harper and gives some facts about the disease. He said that one in 31 people carry the defective CF gene, and 30,000 people in the United States have been diagnosed. He compared his rigorous lifestyle as a football player to Harper's routine managing CF — including rounds of pills and a high-fat diet so she keeps her wait up.
The website also includes this quote from Colton: "I’m in awe of the strength and determination of people living with cystic fibrosis. The Legacy Foundation is designed to help minimize the barriers they face as they live, grow and work toward their dreams."
In addition to providing support and monetary resources, the foundation started the Legacy Project, where they partnered with International Biophysics, the manufacturer of the AffloVest, to bring 50 AffloVests to 50 states. "Regular airway clearance treatments promote health and mobility features help to ensure that treatments aren’t missed," the website says. "The AffloVest, a physician prescribed treatment option, is quiet, light and uses a battery pack to allow for freedom of movement so its user can go about daily activities."
Due to injuries, Colton cut his NFL career short and now focuses on the foundation (when he's not trying to win Becca's heart on The Bachelorette, or course). "I had a good run," he said in an interview with the Lincoln-Journal Star. "I played a kids’ game for a long time. It’s bittersweet, but I’m ready to move on."
In the interview, Colton mentioned that he likes to add a component to his foundation every year so it "doesn't get stagnant." Besides donations and the Legacy Project, Colton's charity also runs football camps and as of 2017, cheerleading camps. According to the website, they've raised $60,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation during two football camps with welcome 400 children per year.
Colton is clearly a caring guy, but there is one thing working against him on the show: his past with another Bachelor contestant. Colton dated Becca's friend, Tia, before he went on The Bachelorette. When Becca found out — when Tia showed up for a group date — she was shocked, but kept Colton along because she was into him. She was also impressed by his charity work. In her People blog about her reaction to Colton and Tia, Becca said, "The fact of the matter is I was really drawn to Colton for reasons other than just our chemistry and how impressed I was with his charity for cystic fibrosis." Becca continued, "I felt like there was an invisible pull, something that in my gut told me to not discount our spark."
Well, Becca has kept Colton around for hometown dates. I'm sure he'll introduce her to some people from the foundation — and maybe even its inspiration, his cousin Harper. It seems that while Colton had to quit football, he found another passion that can help thousands of people.