Washington Redskins tight end Vernon Davis is known for making a difference on the gridiron, but the impact he makes off of it is far greater.
The 13-year NFL veteran may not be going to the Super Bowl with his team, but he’s sending a grieving family to the big game in Atlanta in order to bring a little light into their lives.
The Howey family recently lost 17-year-old Ryan to brain cancer. Upon hearing about the boy’s illness last month, Davis jumped in a car and drove two hours to meet Ryan, who was a giant Redskins fan. Davis also got to know Ryan’s parents and his sister shortly before he passed away.
Knowing how much the family was hurting, Davis, along with the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation (WRCF), gave his Super Bowl tickets to the Howeys. He’s also paying for their flights and hotel accommodations.
“I Facetimed them,” he told TMZ. “I was explaining to them, ‘Hey, I think it’d be great if you guys can go to the Super Bowl. I have three tickets for you all and I’m putting you up in a hotel and you guys get to see a good game.'”
Davis’s generosity isn’t anything new. He’s the Redskins’ 2018 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee for his service to the community.
When not in a helmet and pads, Davis can often be found at a range of Redskins charitable events. Not only that, but as the creator and leader of the Vernon Davis Foundation for the Arts, which promotes art education and appreciation among youth, he provides scholarships to art students and helps fund non-profit arts programs.
In 2018, he launched Read 85, a reading campaign in which he visited six underserved public schools in Washington D.C. to promote reading as a way of life. Along the way, the campaign donated more than 500 books.
After Davis’s football career ends, people will forget the touchdown receptions and yards run after the catch. But, he will long be remembered for his work off the field that made him famous.