Pittsburgh's Cam Heyward Named Week 8 NFLPA Community MVP
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Cam Heyward has been named the Week 8 NFLPA Community MVP after hosting “Cam’s Kindness Week,” where he uplifted spirits and generously poured back into his Pittsburgh community.
“Couldn’t be more excited to see the work we’re doing through the Heyward House Foundation highlighted this week by the NFLPA,” Heyward said. “Cam’s Kindness Week is something I started doing last year because in the chaos of the NFL season, it’s easy to forget how meaningful even just a small act of kindness can be to someone.”
The Pittsburgh defensive lineman kicked off his goodwill tour on October 20 by inviting four local high school athletes who had suffered season-ending injuries to a Steelers practice. There, he introduced them to some of his teammates before sharing his own personal experience of being on injured reserve and conquering the recovery process. Heyward also invited the quartet of athletes to join him in his suite for the University of Pittsburgh’s November 4 game.
The following Monday, Heyward took time to visit UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. He recorded a book reading that will air on the patients’ televisions in November, played games with the kids and handed out autographed No. 97 pillows. He ended the day by donating meals to every family, healthcare worker and hospital employee.
On Tuesday, Heyward visited Café Momentum, a local restaurant that offers internships to at-risk youth who have been impacted by the juvenile justice system. During the visit, he spoke to the interns about accountability and overcoming adversity to reach your goals while also helping prepare a pasta meal for them to enjoy together.
The next day, Heyward and his mom, Charlotte, spent the afternoon at The Caring Place, an organization that supports children who have lost a loved one. The 13-year veteran talked with 50 kids in attendance about how he overcame his grief following the death of his father, former NFL player Craig Heyward. They then all participated in an art project, writing messages on butterflies to craft a collage in honor of their loved ones.
On Thursday, Heyward was joined by his brother and fellow Steeler, Connor Heyward, for a surprise visit to Westinghouse High School football team as it prepares for the championship game. They catered a meal for the 48 players and will be donating shirts, pants, blazers and ties for them to wear at their upcoming end-of-year banquet.
Cam’s Kindness Week closed out with the launch of his latest Craig’s Closet at Brashear High School. The program partners with local schools to open “closets” so that young men in need of suits for proms, job interviews, school presentations, etc. can pick out an outfit for free. Heyward is celebrating this newest closet by inviting a group of Brashear students to the Steelers’ October 29 game, where Heyward is expected to make his return to the field after being injured since Week 1.
“By performing at least one act of kindness every day for a week, I hope the Pittsburgh community understands how much I appreciate all of their support over the years,” said Heyward, who also earned NFLPA Community MVP recognition in 2019 and 2020.
Since being entering the NFL in 2011, the Steelers NFLPA player representative has dedicated his off-field work to philanthropy in his hometown and team city of Pittsburgh. This led him to establish the Heyward House Foundation in 2015, with a mission of supporting youth and giving back to those in need.
Heyward’s devotion to creating positive change has resulted in the establishment of the Rufus and Jordan Literacy Program in honor of his grandparents; the annual Cam’s Birthday Bash, where he invites kids who don’t have the opportunity to celebrate their birthdays to party with him on his special day; the Voices of Hope Scholarship that provides brain tumor patients or family members impacted by this diagnosis with the opportunity to pursue a post-secondary degree; an annual food distribution that feeds more than 200 families for Thanksgiving; and much more.
In honor of Heyward being named this week’s Community MVP, the NFLPA is making a $10,000 contribution to his foundation or charity of choice. In turn, Heyward 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
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.