If you’re a football fan, you probably already know what the Senior Bowl is. You already know that it’s one of the biggest pre-NFL Draft events of the season where elite prospects – and soon we can drop the word “prospects” and replace it with “players” – from all over the country are invited to Mobile, Alabama to showcase their talent to coaches, scouts and decision-makers from all 32 NFL teams.
What you might not know is that since 2017, Athletes for Hope has had the privilege of presenting to each Senior Bowl class and helping them understand how to turn their charitable passions into action while leveraging their platform as athletes.
From strict COVID-19 protocols to our session being the first in-person workshop we’ve held for almost a year, everyone’s 2021 Senior Bowl was a little different than years’ past. But that was really where the differences ended. Lead by Athletes for Hope CEO Ivan Blumberg, players were engaged, inspired and since our workshop, we’ve had countless conversations with them on how they can give back to their communities.
So apart from prepping for the NFL Draft, what have some of these Senior Bowl athletes been up to since January?
Alabama’s Najee Harris spent an afternoon at the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) helping pack kid-friendly food items for NTFB’s Food 4 Kids Program which provides backpacks full of nutritious foods and snacks to elementary school children experiencing food insecurity. He also moved pallets in their warehouse (which in all fairness might count as prepping for the Draft).
Pitt’s Patrick Jones II has been volunteering at various food banks across southeast Virginia, packing grocery bags, stocking shelves and sorting produce.
Duke’s Noah Gray joined the Philadelphia Phillies’ Sam Fuld’s TD1 Sports Camp where he spoke to campers about his experience living with Type 1 Diabetes as an athlete.
Education is at the core of Athletes for Hope and at the beginning of every charitable athlete’s philanthropic journey. We know this is just the beginning for not just the athletes mentioned above, but for so many soon-to-be NFL players.
We know the draft starts in Mobile. Where does an NFL prospect’s journey in turning their charitable passions into action start? Answer: also in Mobile.