Donna Kelce on How Her Family Stays ‘Tight-Knit’ amid Travis and Jason Kelce’s ‘Very Full Lives’

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“We stay together and try to help each other as much as we can,” Donna tells PEOPLE of her sons amid their respectively busy NFL schedules

Jason Kelce, Donna Kelce, Travis Kelce
PHOTO: DAVE SHOPLAND/SHUTTERSTOCK

Though Travis and Jason Kelce play for different teams, they were born teammates for life.

When speaking about her latest partnership with Heluva Good!, Donna Kelce tells PEOPLE exclusively about what’s kept her family so close over the years amid her sons’ respectively busy schedules as professional NFL athletes.

“We’re very, very small. We’re tight-knit,” Donna tells PEOPLE exclusively of her brood. “We stay together and try to help each other as much as we can.”

The mother of two broke down her family tree, explaining that her brother and her husband’s sister didn’t have any children. Therefore, Donna says, it was “just the two boys” — to which she admits, “growing up they used to yell at me because they didn’t have any cousins to play with on Christmas.”

Therefore, Donna and her boys always had each other’s backs. “We stay together and try to help each other as much as we can,” she says.

Travis Kelce and Jason Kelce attend a game before the game against the Boston Celtics against the Philadelphia 76ers during Game 6 of the 2023 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference semi-finals on May 11, 2023 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Travis Kelce and Jason Kelce attend NBA game in May 2023. JESSE D. GARRABRANT/NBAE VIA GETTY

However, she concedes that the extend of how much family time they get to enjoy together isn’t what it used to be due to Travis’ schedule as tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs and Jason’s busy life as center for the Philadelphia Eagles with three kids.

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“Obviously, football has gotten in the way and they both have their own very, very full lives,” says Donna, who’s sure to note that she’s “very, very happy that they get to enjoy the fruits of their labor.” The proud mom adds, “It’s a tough ride to get to where they are right now.”

There’s no denying that football bonds the family, despite the Kelce brothers playing for different teams. Donna’s schedule is also jam-packed, as she makes a point to travel to as many games as she can to support her sons — even if that means traveling almost 1,300 miles in less than 24 hours!

During the 2022 playoffs in January, Donna kicked off her Sunday at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium watching Jason face off against the Buccaneers — followed by a flight bound for Kansas City, where Travis played the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Mother Donna Kelce gives cookies to her son's Jason Kelce #62 of the Philadelphia Eagles and Travis Kelce
Mother Donna Kelce gives cookies to her sons Jason and Travis Kelce in February 2023. CHRISTIAN PETERSEN/GETTY

Football aside, Donna says “food” and “friends” are what bonds the Kelce family, since that’s what they “all have in common.” She’s sure to mention “grandchildren” as another bonding point, referencing Jason and his wife Kylie’s three daughters: Wyatt, Elliotte and Bennett.

Of course, competition also bonds the boys — in activities that span beyond the gridiron, too! “Dodgeball and golf” are some of the sports Donna lists, while recalling a few competitions that got heated during their childhood.

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Among them included “who could get to the table first” and “who can sit in front of the car,” says Donna with a laugh, noting that the list “just went on and on and on.”

And while Donna says the competition “never ended” for Travis and Jason as kids, she says they’re “still just as competitive as adults today.” She explains, “I know they’re always jabbing at each other to mention who’s the best. It doesn’t stop!”

Jason Kelce #62 of the Philadelphia Eagles talks to brother Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs after their game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on November 20, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Jason and Travis Kelce hug after an NFL football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 20, 2023.SCOTT WINTERS/ICON SPORTSWIRE VIA GETTY

Family-friendly competitions aside, Donna says her boys haven’t held anything against each other from their past. At least not “at this point,” she admits. “I think they’re each other’s biggest fan.”

Brotherly love aside, Donna shares the scoop on another thing Travis is a fan of: “Dips… he loves all kinds of dips.” Therefore, it was only natural Donna teamed up with Heluva Good! for her latest partnership.

Donna Kelce on How Her Family Stays "Tight Knit" Amid Travis and Jason Kelce's 'Very Full Lives' (Exclusive)
Donna Kelce partners with Heluva Good! Dip to create a limited-edition calendar that will help you countdown to the Big Game.HELUVA GOOD!

Donna says the snack brand “is putting together a big game countdown calendar” in the week leading up to the 2024 Super Bowl taking place on Feb. 11 in Las Vegas.

Not only will the Heluva Good! Countdown Calendar track the minutes until kickoff, but it’ll assure your tailgate timing is just right! For Donna, the Tex-Mex seven layer dip with the brand’s Jalapeño Cheddar is her favorite.

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