PITTSBURGH’S CAM HEYWARD NAMED WEEK 1 NFLPA COMMUNITY MVP

To honor the legacy of his late grandfather, Cam Heyward installed his first Little Free Library, providing 24-7 access to the treasures of reading while promoting literacy for underserved Pittsburgh communities.

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PITTSBURGH’S CAM HEYWARD NAMED WEEK 1 NFLPA COMMUNITY MVP

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Cam Heyward has been named Week 1 NFLPA Community MVP for installing the first of several Little Free Libraries in underserved communities across the Pittsburgh area. His efforts mark the official launch of the Rufus and Judy Jordan Literacy project, which is named after his grandparents and focuses on social justice, racial equality, financial literacy and life skills.

“It’s an honor to receive the NFLPA Community MVP for a second year in a row,” Heyward said. “The work that I do with my foundation is not to achieve awards, but to impact children in many ways.”

Heyward, who has served as a Pittsburgh Steelers player representative for the past two years, created the literacy program this summer after his grandfather, Rufus “Pup Pup” Jordan passed away in June. To honor Pup Pup’s legacy as a teacher and leader of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, along with his grandmother’s 30-plus years of service as a teacher in Pittsburgh, Heyward decided to spread their love of reading and education through the installation of the Little Free Libraries. The book-sharing boxes provide 24-7 access to books in areas where they are scarce so that underprivileged communities can have equal access to literacy.

This first Little Free Library has already received a lot of traffic. Heyward plans to install more based on input from community members on where the book-sharing boxes would have the most positive, educational impact.

“The Rufus & Judy Jordan Literacy Project is close to my heart, as it honors my grandparents and their love of education,” Heyward said. “I am proud of the Heyward House’s progress and look forward to what we have planned for the future.”

Ever since Heyward entered the NFL, he has focused on giving back to those in need, which is why he created The Heyward House Foundation in 2015 to impact youth. This past offseason, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, he donated to the Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank, which allowed the organization to distribute more than 24,000 diapers; contributed meals to the Latrobe Police Department; and partnered with the Urban Impact Foundation and the Leadership League to deliver Easter baskets and meals to families on the north side of Pittsburgh.

The 10th-year veteran also started an ongoing service project this summer to support the Boys & Girls Club of Western Pennsylvania through an initiative called The Heyward House Bucket Challenge. So far, Heyward and his foundation have delivered 250 buckets filled with hygiene items, food and cleaning supplies. He’s also encouraging individuals in the community to donate $20 per bucket to supply resources to local children and families in need.

Last year, he was honored as the Week 9 NFLPA Community MVP for raising $200,000 at his annual fundraiser for his Heyward House Foundation. Through those donations, the Steelers All-Pro defender was able to fund his Blessing in a Backpack project, which provides backpacks filled with healthy food each weekend during the school year to the Urban Pathways Charter School, as well as Craig’s Closet, which is named after his late father and hands out suits, ties and shirts to young men who don’t have the means to obtain business/formal attire.

In honor of Heyward being named this week’s Community MVP, the NFLPA will make a $10,000 contribution to The Heyward House Foundation. Also, our supporting partner Pledge It has set up a crowdfunding campaign called “Sacks For Kids” to benefit The Heyward House. Supporters can pledge contributions based on every sack by Heyward this season, or they can make a flat donation at the following website:

Make Your Pledge

Heyward, along with the other 2020 Community MVPs, will become eligible for this year’s Alan Page Community 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 hometowns and team cities. Each week during the regular season, the NFLPA will celebrate one player who has demonstrated a commitment to giving back to his community. Please visit our website to learn more about the program.

2020 NFLPA Community MVP winners:
Week 0: Kevin Byard, Tennessee Titans


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