Even as he makes waves on the gridiron as a Pro Bowl defender, the holiday season always reminds Kam Chancellor of his humble beginnings. As one of five children raised by a single mother holding down two or three jobs at a time in the Hamptons Roads area of Virginia, Chancellor did not have much under the tree on most Christmas mornings. But he did have the love and support of his family.
Those memories are the motivation behind Chancellor’s charitable efforts every December. For the fifth straight year, the Seahawks safety hosted a Holiday Toy Drive, partnering his Kam Cares Foundation with Seattle Union Gospel Mission on Dec. 2 for an outreach event that earned Chancellor Week 13 NFLPA Community MVP honors.
Hundreds of Seahawks fans lined up outside Trenchers Kitchen and Tap to donate toys to children and families in need in Seattle and its surrounding areas. Once inside, they were greeted by Chancellor, who accepted 800 toys and counting to meet their goal of serving 1,000 kids for the holidays.
"I often reflect on my humble beginnings, and vividly remember Christmas mornings in our home,” Chancellor said. “This toy drive is just one way I’m able to provide underserved children and families with a little hope and few resources to lessen the burdens they face.”
The event serves as one of several spearheaded by Chancellor and his Kam Cares Foundation in the Hampton Roads and Seattle communities during the past five years. The Super Bowl champion not only hosts a Back-to-School drive in each city, but through his iAchieve program, he rewarded elementary students of Norfolk Public Schools with iPads and keyboards to support their STEM initiatives.
Chancellor also provides support on the athletic side. During the summer, he hosts a two-day football camp for middle and high schoolers and this past September, he donated $10,000 to help provide uniforms for middle school teams in Norfolk Public Schools.
“I’m a firm believer that to whom much is given, much is expected in return; and that is how I try to live my life each day. I’m blessed to play the game that I love, but now I feel the responsibility to reach back and help other children from similar backgrounds as my own,” Chancellor said. “I’m thankful to be named the NFLPA Community MVP, and I’m humbled that they are recognizing the work that I’ve simply been called to do.”
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