In nearly six NFL seasons, Josh Norman has proven he’s mastered the art of theft.
His ability to intercept opposing quarterbacks has earned him distinction as one of the league’s top defensive backs, in addition to millions of dollars.
This holiday season, however, Norman’s focus is not what he can take away, but how he can give back.
The Washington Redskins star and former Coastal Carolina defensive back placed a full-page ad in Wednesday’s edition of his hometown newspaper, The (Greenwood) Index-Journal. In the ad, Norman asked churches in the area to submit letters “stating the concerns of the church and needs of the youth.”
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“This season, God has laid it on my heart as a servant of the crown to reach out and touch every church in Greenwood, SC with my tithes and offering of love and peace,” Norman wrote. “It is my wish that everyone in your place of worship be touched by this blessing and I’ve been blessed by and now giving unto you.”
Norman is in the second of a five-year, $75 million contract with the Redskins. He’s earned his keep during his time in the NFL, credited with 10 career interceptions.
While blessed with more money than he could have ever imagined, the former Chanticleer has proven — particularly of late — he is willing to dig in his wallet for a good cause.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Norman contributed $100,000 to boost relief efforts in Puerto Rico. He also raised another $150,000 via a two-week fundraiser to help residents of the U.S. territory.
Half of his initial pledge will go toward the Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico. Norman has also done significant work in the Washington-area and his hometown of Greenwood.
For his work, the All-Pro defensive back was honored last week as the NFL Players’ Association (NFLPA) Community MVP.
“I am so honored to be recognized by the NFLPA for my work in the community,” Norman said in a prepared statement. “All of this work is bigger than football. I want to make an impact in the lives of children who need it most and to help develop those children to help change the future.
“... I look at it as I’m on this earth to help people and help them be the best that they can be. I have the means to do so. I’m going to do that.”
While making it known he may not be able to honor every request, Norman made it easily apparent where his heart was at.
“I truly thank you all from the bottom of my heart for being that beacon of hope to look up to and strive for greatness in your teachings and vessels on earth to reach our Father who is in heaven,” he said, before ending the advertisement with a Biblical passage from Romans 12:13 to “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice Hospitality.”