The New Orleans Saints have been known for they’re off-field contributions for a while now. They’re a community that once was ravaged by local and national disasters. The effects of Hurricane Katrina still show throughout New Orleans. Therefore it doesn’t take the holiday season for the team to provide their time or any sort of charitable donation.
But when the time presents itself, the players give a whole new meaning to the “more than football mantra. The Saints already as a team annually serve dinner to those in need at the Salvation Army. In addition, several players use their individual charities to give back.
This Christmas season a plethora of marquee Saints players. Cameron Jordan, Mark Ingram, Kenny Vaccaro, Nate Stupar, and Thomas Morstead, among others, used various methods during a very festive week in NOLA.
NOLA.com’s Herbie Teope was brilliantly able to report the various respective foundations in play for the Saints this Christmas.
“The Mark Ingram Foundation, which focuses on children with an incarcerated parent, hosted a shopping event.”
“Morstead, whose “What You Give Will Grow” foundation enjoyed an annual visit with patients undergoing chemo therapy at Ochsner Health Clinic, echoed Ingram.”
“Stupar’s “State of Hope” foundation is based in the Centre County area of Pennsylvania.
And this holiday season, he and his wife, Marrisa, started the “Carry On” program, which is designed to help 70-80 foster children in Pennsylvania by providing a duffle bag filled with a bible, pajamas and essential personal items.”
“(Cameron) Jordan often spends every Tuesday, the players’ off day, with children and the past week wasn’t different as he hosted a camp at the team’s training facility. He also hosted a celebrity charity dinner with proceeds benefiting the “Where There’s a Will There’s a Way” scholarship and The IrvingMorris Foundation, and helped out teammates with their foundations throughout the week.”
Various other Saints from Drew Brees to Ken Crawley also took part in community events, in what seemed to be a team-wide effort. For a team that has thrived due to on field chemistry, it’s fun seeing their off field chemistry as well.
Football means the world to the city of New Orleans. The people there would be fine if the Saints did nothing more but win ball games. One effort alone would sure to brighten up a normally upbeat town.
But like other NFL teams going above and beyond is the goal. Some players remember struggles growing up as a kid, others humble themselves to imagine. In culmination, the Saints continue to show the NFL is much more than just about football.