The Sport of Philanthropy: 12 Days of Christmas

The Sport of Philanthropy
Rodney and Erika have been paying it forward all month long through their Change Our Future Foundation’s 12 Days of Christmas campaign, which has also included winter coat giveaways, student scholarships, and meals for front-line workers and those staying in shelters.

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By Rose Lawlor

Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee and Philadelphia Eagles safety Rodney McLeod and his wife, Erika, have a lengthy track record of giving back to their community, particularly in Philadelphia, Prince George’s County, MD, Camden and Trenton, NJ. Just last week, shortly after learning he’d torn his ACL, Rodney and Erika visited local supermarket Brown’s ShopRite in North Philadelphia to pay the grocery bills of unsuspecting customers.

Photo: Change Our Future Foundation

 

Rodney and Erika have been paying it forward all month long through their Change Our Future Foundation’s 12 Days of Christmas campaign, which has also included winter coat giveaways, student scholarships, and meals for front-line workers and those staying in shelters. Change Our Future also lead campaigns focused on youth development, voter registration, and cancer research.   

“This has helped me put things in perspective a lot,” McLeod said. “It has helped me re-evaluate my situation, my injury, and say, ‘Things could be a lot worse. You could be out here with barely any money in your pocket, struggling to provide and get groceries and put clothes on your back,’ but this is what you have going on and it’s the worst in your life. It was a sight to see and I’m glad to be a part of that.”

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There were times, Rodney McLeod admits now, when he wasn’t sure “I had it in me” to recover from a torn ACL suffered in December 2020 in time to play during the 2021 Eagles season. The long hours of rehab that translated to mini-steps of recovery seemed like such a mountain to climb for McLeod, who had suffered the same injury in 2018 and also had come back from a rotator cuff injury a season later.

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