Two of the most popular football programs in the country (one NCAA and one NFL) spent their Wednesday humbly assisting West Virginia flood victims.
The University of Alabama football team was hard at work loading donations onto a trailer headed for the affected areas. Meanwhile, the New Orleans Saints donated a full day of their time to a cleanup project at a White Sulphur Springs ballpark that was destroyed by floodwaters.
“I think if any organization in the NFL understands what it takes to cleanup from a natural disaster it’s us,” said Saints tackle Zach Streif, who vividly remembers the heartbreaking aftermath of Hurricane Katrina that pummeled the city of New Orleans and it’s surrounding areas in 2005.
The Saints have held portions of their annual training camp at the Greenbrier for the last two years. This year marks the third and final year of their three-year contract with the Greenbrier to use the resort’s football facilities.
“Just being able to come out here and do something for this community and not only have practice here and show love when they come see us play, but also giving back. It’s always something special when you leave a place better than when you came,” said Saints safety Roman Harper.
Head coach Sean Payton and many players including Super Bowl-winning quarterback Drew Brees got in on the action. The team cleaned up the grounds, relocated heavy bleachers and helped restore hope to members of the community.
More than 600-miles away in Tuscaloosa, the University of Alabama football team made an impact of its own. Head coach Nick Saban (a Fairmont native) urged Alabama citizens to donate general necessities as well as football pads and helmets for youth whose equipment was destroyed in the disaster.
The generous people of Alabama did not disappoint. An entire trailer full of equipment and other goods is currently en route to West Virginia.
“Thank you to all the local high school’s around the Tuscaloosa area to all the school’s in West Virginia that were affected by the floods earlier this year,” said Alabama tight end O.J. Howard. “They’re greatly appreciated and we’re just glad that they’ll be helpful and will be able to help them play football this season.”
We offer a sincere thank you to the New Orleans Saints organization, the University of Alabama, it’s football program and all those who donated.
Quotes in this article courtesy of the New Orleans Saints (@Saints) and the University of Alabama football team (@AlabamaFTBL)
Cover Image Credit: neworleanssaints.com