After Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman learned of the devastation left by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, he didn’t hesitate to do his part. He initially donated $100,000 to send food to the island.
Now, Norman is partnering with Boys & Girls Clubs of America for a holiday season campaign to benefit Puerto Rico, and he’s also donating toys and food to families in need. He donated $50,000 to activate the partnership and plans to raise an additional $200,000.
“The crazy part about it is everybody was out helping Miami, and helping Houston, but who was out to help Puerto Rico? When you saw the devastation that was caused, it was the worst kind. … Some places still don’t have power now. We’re talking about it’s been months, months, months.”
Norman and his brothers visited the island and appreciated the kindness he received from the community.
“They are part of the United States. It’s really sad, but we were able to form up forces and link arms,” Norman said. “I’m not saying that people didn’t do that. I’m not saying it, but it wasn’t enough. For me, I’ve been over there, I’ve experienced the people. It was just something that I just couldn’t look away from.
“God spoke and I moved, and that was one of those things I moved on. What we do on this earth, yeah, it’ll last. It’ll last on earth, but what we do for others, that echoes an eternity. It really does. What you do for others, it will last a lifetime, so that’s why I see it, for me, helping out.
“I put my money towards that. But then I started looking for a foundation. … And the Boys & Girls Club came up where it’s something that it can affect the kids.”
For more than 150 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has helped young children and teens by providing a safe space and programs during nonschool hours. Today, 4,300 clubs serve 4 million young people annually.
Although Norman is not a product of the Boys & Girls Clubs organization, he visited a few times as a child. As an adult, he knew he wanted to team up for the cause.
“It’s truly amazing to be doing something to help others,” Norman said.
For Thanksgiving and Christmas, Norman will be donating food to families and having Santa Claus deliver gifts and food. He has to play on Thanksgiving Day, but he wants to make sure he is involved in the giving process. So he has combined the two holidays into a big day for the entire season of giving.
“Last year we did gifts along with the turkeys for up to 24 families. This year we just kind of combined everything and everybody. Have them under one house and give away toys and gifts and just have a big party.”