For some players, football is about more than just the game. And for Jets offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum, those words rang true as he was one of two NFL players honored at the 25th Anniversary Gridiron Gala in New York City this month. Every year, United Way of New York City recognizes the Jets, the Giants, and two players who represent the NFL’s dedication to community service and commitment to giving back.
“It’s a privilege, it’s an honor. I’m humbled that just in the year that I’ve been here, I’ve been able to make an impact worthy enough of this particular award,” Beachum said while preparing for the event. “So excited to be involved, excited to serve. Know that this is not the pinnacle, know that there’s still a lot of work to be done.”
Along with his commitments to the NFL, Beachum has been instrumental in helping to end hunger with his participation in groups like Bread for the World and World Vision. His efforts to make change reach much farther as he sits on multiple education boards such as the Executive Board for the Simmons School of Education and Human Development and the Lyle School of Engineering at Southern Methodist University. Beachum also works to develop habits and skills for success with minority and disadvantaged youth.
“It’s been something I’ve been doing for a number of years. Stemming back to when I was in high school, I’ve been doing stuff around hunger,” he said. “Those things escalated when I got to college. And then when I got to the pros, I have a huge platform and a little bit more capital.”
This year was significant for the Jets organization as it received a special MVP award for its outstanding leadership and commitment to the community. In all the event’s 25 years, there have only been six MVP awards granted.