New York's Saquon Barkley Named Week 10 NFLPA Community MVP
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Saquon Barkley has been named this season’s Week 10 NFLPA Community MVP after he spent time with those experiencing homelessness in Pennsylvania and donated essential supplies to help them endure the approaching winter.
“It is a true honor to receive this award from among all the NFL athletes who are accomplishing amazing things in their communities across the country each week,” Barkley said. “At times growing up, we struggled with home insecurity, so I can relate to some degree to the challenges many families are facing these days.”
On November 7, the New York Giant and members of his Michael Ann & Saquon Barkley Hope Foundation met with the staff at Operation Address The Homeless (OATH) in Allentown, PA. There, they toured the facility and discussed solutions for the rising issue of home insecurity and homelessness among adults and school-age children.
Afterward, Barkley trekked out to the middle of the woods to meet with individuals living in homeless camps. He listened as they shared the difficulties that had brought them to this point and asked what their immediate needs were as the calendar moved into the colder weather months. The Pro Bowl running back also donated supplies to the group, including sleeping bags, emergency supplies, hates, gloves and backpacks filled with essential care items.
The visit hit home for Barkley, who experienced homelessness for nearly a year when he was in elementary school. Since overcoming those challenges and reaching the NFL in 2018, he started the Michael Ann & Saquon Barkley Hope Foundation to provide assistance to underprivileged families. Named in honor of his late grandmother, the non-profit offers scholarships, educational assistance and athletic guidance to help youth excel and achieve their goals; provides support for those battling addiction; and gives tangible hope to individuals who want to beat their adversity.
The Penn State alum stands as a consistent advocate for those in underserved communities, volunteering his time and resources through various charitable initiatives. Barkley has handed out book bags and school supplies at Patterson Houses, which is a public housing development in the South Bronx, and blessed children in New York City homeless shelters with holiday gifts. He’s also worked closely with one-time NFLPA charitable partner Covenant House in New Jersey on its annual “Sleep Out” to raise money and awareness for youth experiencing homelessness, as well as with Children of Promise, which stands in the gap for youth who have a parent or parents serving a life sentence in prison.
Last year, Barkley’s foundation formed a historic partnership with St. Luke’s University Health Network in his hometown of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The partnership will result in a community center geared toward creating opportunities for underserved youth through physical activity, academics and life choices.
In honor of Barkley being named this week’s Community MVP, the NFLPA is making a $10,000 contribution to his foundation or charity of choice. In turn, Barkley will take part in a virtual or in-person visit to a school or children’s hospital. Along with the other 2023-24 Community MVPs, he will also become eligible for this year’s Alan Page Community Award, which is the highest honor that the NFLPA can bestow upon a player.
Now in its 10th season, the Community MVP campaign is part of the NFLPA’s continued efforts to support the year-round, civic outreach and engagement of its player members. Please visit the NFLPA Community MVP website to learn more about the program.
2023-24 NFLPA Community MVP winners:
Week 1: Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings
Week 2: Bijan Robinson, Atlanta Falcons
Week 3: Justin Hardee, New York Jets
Week 4. Frank Ragnow, Detroit Lions
Week 5: Arik Armstead, San Francisco 49ers
Week 6: Emmanuel Ogbah, Miami Dolphins
Week 7: Calais Campbell, Atlanta Falcons
Week 8: Cam Heyward, Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 9: Kayvon Thibodeaux, New York Giants
Week 10: Saquon Barkley, New York Giants
About the NFL Players Association:
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 the 2030 NFL season. Learn more at www.nflpa.com.