’Tis the season for giving and San Francisco 49ers’ cornerback Richard Sherman has risen to the occasion. Earlier this week, the NFL star cleared over $27,000 worth of student lunch debt for California children, according to ABC.
“It’s the most generous thing to happen for these kids,” said Cabrillo Middle School principal Stan Garber. “There’s plenty in need and he didn’t neglect them. It was the perfect way to give back and help them. It was the kindest, most generous gesture.”
Cabrillo received a personal check for over $7,000 from the NFL star while the Tacoma Public Schools District received $20,000.
“Richard’s gesture created such goodwill for the 49ers that they went on to sack Aaron Rogers and the Green Bay Packers the next day on national TV by a score of 37-8,” Garber said on the school’s website. “Go 49ers, Go Richard Sherman.”
The donation came a day after the cornerback was awarded the National Football League Players Association’s Week 11 Community MVP. Sherman has gained a solid reputation for his generosity. He started two nonprofits—the Richard Sherman Family Foundation and Blanket Coverage Foundation—which have collectively raised $1.5 million since 2013 and helped more than 70,000 people in need. Many of the recipients have been students in low-income communities who need school supplies and clothing.
The compassionate player credits basketball star Magic Johnson for inspiring him to help other students. His website reads: “During his high school days, [Sherman’s] childhood idol Magic Johnson came to Dominguez High School in Compton, CA and spoke to Richard and his classmates on the importance of setting and achieving your goals. Since that time Richard has made it his focus to preach those same sentiments and help students achieve their fullest potential.”
World Vision has also benefited from the Blanket Coverage’s work.
Smith has created an impressive record both on and off the field. He graduated from high school with a 4.2 GPA while playing football as a wide receiver, cornerback and punt/kick returner. He was also the first student in 20 years to qualify for Stanford University on both academic and athletic merits.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Thearon W. Henderson/Stringer
Mikaela Mathews is a freelance writer and editor based in Dallas, TX. She was the editor of a local magazine and a contributing writer for the Galveston Daily News and Spirit Magazine.