Israel Idonije is a builder. He has been building toward the next phase of his life since he was a child. He built an 11-year NFL career, against all odds, by developing himself to the status of an elite athlete. Numerous honors and awards have been given to him for his work both on and off the field including leading the NFL in blocked punts/field goals in 2005, 2006, and 2007; member of the Chicago Bears NFC Championship team, which played in the 2006 Super Bowl; the NFL’s JB Award and award for Global Dedication, April 2008; Ed Block Courage Award, 2009; Bears “Walter Payton Man of the Year” nominee, 2009 and 2010, and one of three finalists for the League award in 2010; USA Today’s All-Joe Team, 2010 and 2012; recognized as Points of Light Awardee by Barak Obama and George HW Bush at the White House, 2013; presented the Order of Manitoba by Prince Charles, May 2014; awarded Honorary Doctor of Laws by University of Manitoba, June 2014; acknowledged as Entrepreneur of the Year Midwest Finalist 2016; Football Manitoba Hall of Fame, 2018; and accepted Canada’s Meritorious Service Decoration, March 2019.
Israel is the founder of iF Charities, which programs have contributed to the lives of over 10,000 youth in Chicago, Winnipeg and West Africa. As an entrepreneur, Israel has started several successful business ventures. His company blessed stands as the industry leader in communion supplies, and ATHLiTACOMiCS develops custom comic content and properties. He also cofounded Crypto Key Stack and recently launched FBRK (fabric) Impact House, a 40,000 square-foot, first of its kind philanthropic hub in the heart of Chicago’s Loop. It is important to Israel that all of his ventures have a positive impact on the world lifting and building others. He believes everyone is blessed with the gifts and abilities to become successful in their own unique way.