Denver Broncos star returns home to Houston to help with Harvey efforts
Story originally appeared on Culture Map/Houston.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders recently touched down in Houston to contribute to hurricane recovery efforts.
The Texas-native, who played high school football in Bellville, and college football at Southern Methodist University, has family and a residence in the Bayou City. Thus, the destruction caused by Harvey hit home for the two-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl 50 Champion, where he was the leading receiver in Denver's win over Carolina.
According to the Denver Post, Sanders solicited at least $40,000 from his Broncos teammates through the Emmanuel Sanders Foundation to help with relief efforts, with part of the funds going towards 10,000 diapers that were donated to local families in need. Another portion went to food, water, and supplies for Houstonians.
Sanders flew to Houston on a bye week to contribute another $10,200 of the money raised to the Houston Community ToolBank. The tool lending program, a nonprofit organization, puts high-quality tools in the hands of volunteers who are working to repair homes and roofs, as well as restore public spaces.
During his trip home, he met with the media and toured the ToolBank’s facility to see first-hand where the funds are going. “It was important for me to show up and show my face and see who was going to be handling it (the donated funds)," he said. "Now that I’ve seen it, I know that it’s going to a great place and a great cause. I like what the ToolBank is doing, it’s amazing.”
Sanders told reporters it’s been four months since he was last home and was out of town when Harvey hit. He recalled watching the devastation on TV and feeling helpless. “It looked like it was Photoshopped. I thought, ‘That can’t be I-10. That can’t be 59. How is that possible?’ It was definitely devastating to see,” he said.
Sanders also noted that he was grateful to have come out nearly unscathed from the hurricane. "My family came out well. My house got a little leakage in the roof … other than that everybody is good. God is good.”
But Sanders suffered his own misfortune upon returning to Denver. He sprained his ankle late in the third quarter of the Broncos' 23-10 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday and will miss this weekend's game against the San Diego Chargers.