Redskins fans rally around Long Snapper, Nick Sundberg, who is up for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award

We all have our routine.  Mine is every other Saturday morning.  I load in the dirty laundry to my washer and dryer to get ready for the coming weeks.

Laundry day.  Those two words always seemed daunting to me growing up.  I am sure it seemed daunting to you too.  It probably still does.

Most, if not all of us, understand that there are children out there that do not have the ability we do when it comes to luxuries.  Kids who are in critically poor socioeconomic situations may not get their clothes cleaned.  They wind up going to school in shirts, pants, and underwear that may not have been cleaned in over a month.

Think about that for a second.  Put yourself in their shoes.  Close your eyes and take yourself back to grade school.  Walking the halls, the social awkwardness of maturing.  Now add to that dirty clothes.  The smell, the uncleanliness of it.  You thought you were worried about things before?  Now the self-consciousness seep in.  Everyone looking at you and it is the only thing you can focus on.  Your self-esteem drops, you start thinking less of yourself, and all you want to do is get out of school enhancing the likelihood your grades suffer.  You can see this even play out in season 3 of the critically acclaimed HBO series The Wire.

More than just clean clothes

This is what Nick Sundberg, long snapper of the Washington Redskins, is working to eliminate.  He has partnered with the Redskins Community Foundation in an initiative called Loads of Love.  Loads of Love’s mission is to “install laundry facilities in schools and non-profit organizations to directly impact children experiencing homelessness or an unstable living situation at no cost to them or their families.”  Sundberg has been nominated as the Redskins Walter Payton Man of the Year for his work.  He is in the running against 31 other deserving NFL players representing the other teams around the leagues.  This award honors a player’s volunteer and charity work and awards a $25,000 donation to the charity of their choice.  While Redskins fans have done a great job getting behind charitable work that the players do, there is one fan who has made it his mission to help Sundberg win the award.

Eric Fauth (@DEERSnBEERS), a Hogfarmer, has been pushing #WPMOYChallengeSundberg on Twitter.  He tweets and retweets at all hours of the day to help Nick get into first place.  Sundberg did reach first place out pacing the nearest competitor, but with how social media works, he then fell down the rankings.  Eric is no stranger to charitable work.  As a Hogfarmer he has helped raise money for charities like Abby’s Army NC and to bring toys to kids who have extended stays in the hospital at INOVA.

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I asked Eric why Nick winning the Walter Payton Man of the Year award important to him besides Nick being a Redskin.  “Coming from a low-income family, I could’ve used a program like Loads of Love in my area.  Nick deserves all the acknowledgement he can get to this charity, because the children he impacts is immeasurable.  Loads of Love helps children attend school in clean clothes, which builds confidence.  Confidence then leads to better attendance and grades.  Can’t say enough about what Nick & Flor do for the community.”

Fans have certainly jumped on board to help Eric out in having Nick crowned the winner:

How you can help

If you are interested in learning more about the Loads of Love program here.  You can also help Nick to become the Walter Payton Man of the Year by showing your support on Twitter with #WPMOYChalengeSundberg.

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Alan grew up in the Washington, D.C. area and is a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His earliest memory of the Redskins was their Super Bowl XXVI victory with what many argue is the best NFL team in history. Alan brings his unique analytics perspective with his views on the Redskins and is never shy to criticize them when he sees fit. Alan currently resides in Arlington, VA with his wife. Alan can be reached on his Twitter handle @AlanLepore

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