Denver's Emmanuel Sanders Named Week 12 Community MVP

Broncos wide receiver recently launched a holiday collection drive to benefit disadvantaged kids


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Brandon Parker, Senior Communications Manager



Broncos wide receiver recently launched a holiday collection drive to benefit disadvantaged kids

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Emmanuel Sanders has been named Week 12 NFLPA Community MVP for his two-week winter clothing, book and toy drive for disadvantaged children in the Denver area.

“I am honored and grateful to be named this week’s NFLPA Community MVP,” Sanders said. “As a community we have to stick together. At the end of the day, there’s a lot of people that are in need. I grew up in a disadvantaged family and I had people that I depended on, and now I have this platform. I’ve always said that when the time comes, I’m going to make the most of it. And that’s what I’m doing now.”

Thanks to the efforts of the Broncos wide receiver and New Era, six different Lids store locations in Greater Denver are collecting items between November 22 and December 6 to deliver to A Precious Child so that hundreds of children will be able to have warm winter clothing and a present to open for Christmas. The holiday collection is an extension of Sanders’ Gear Up program in which his foundation provides financially disadvantaged kids in Denver with sporting equipment in addition to funding their sporting fees.

The mission behind Emmanuel Sanders Foundation, which works to provide resources for families in need, stems from the trials he faced growing up in Texas. Raised by his grandmother in her double-wide trailer, where he slept on the floor among four generations of relatives, Sanders often went to bed hungry while listening to rats run through the walls. Thanks to his grandmother’s efforts and unique football skills, Sanders was able to become the first person in his family to attend college, paving the way for his current NFL career and platform to give back.

Earlier this year, Sanders poured back into his hometown community in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The two-time Pro Bowler raised $82,500, including his own $25,000 donation, to support the relief efforts in Houston. He also partnered with Randalls grocery store to provide water, diapers and food pantry items as well as tools for first responders.

Sanders followed that up last month by launching his inaugural Gear Up program, where he met with 10 local children and personally provided them with sports equipment.

“It has been humbling to see what my foundation has been able to accomplish so far for the Denver community,” Sanders said. “This is just the beginning for great things to come from the Emmanuel Sanders Foundation, as there are many more deserving people that I want to help and inspire in our community. I am committed to making a lasting impact through my foundation and I am thankful for everyone that has played a role in supporting the foundation.”

In honor of Sanders being named this week’s Community MVP, the NFLPA will make a $10,000 contribution to his foundation or charity of choice along with an in-kind donation to him on behalf of our supporting partner Delta Private Jets. Sanders, along with the other 2017 Community MVPs, will also become eligible for this year’s Byron Whizzer White Award, which is the highest honor that the NFLPA can bestow upon a player.

The NFLPA Community MVP program recognizes NFL players who are making a positive impact in their local communities. Each week during the regular season, the NFLPA will celebrate one NFL player* who has demonstrated a commitment to giving back to his community. Please visit our website to read more about the program as well as the current and past winners.

*To be eligible for the Community MVP award, a player must be a dues-paying member of the NFLPA and either on a current NFL roster or actively seeking employment as a free agent.

2017 Community MVPs:


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The National Football League Players Association is the union for professional football players in the National Football League. Established in 1956, the NFLPA has a long history of assuring proper recognition and representation of players’ interests. The NFLPA has shown that it will do whatever is necessary to assure that the rights of players are protected—including ceasing to be a union, if necessary, as it did in 1989. In 1993, the NFLPA again was officially recognized as the union representing the players, and negotiated a landmark Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL. The current CBA will govern the sport through 2020. Learn more at