Casey Hayward is known for making an impact on the field, but off of it, he chooses to leave an imprint on the communities he calls home.
Hayward did just that on Thursday, surprising ten families from After-School All-Stars in Los Angeles with $1,000 each. Hayward already helped families in his hometown of Perry, Georgia, through his Hayward’s Hands Foundation, but wanted to aid those in this community as well.
“I just wanted to reach out into this area since I play out here,” Hayward said. “I was like, what better time to do it than around Christmas? I’m blessed to be in the position I am, that I don’t have to struggle, and I know growing up sometimes kids and parents can’t control the things that they’re going through. For me to be able to help anybody in need or anybody in general, I just wanted to bless the families.”
Doing work through his foundation is of the utmost importance to Hayward as he made a conscious decision to help run it after his mom who created it, Tish, passed away from breast cancer in 2016.
“This is who Casey is,” remarked Jerica Williams, Public Relations for Hayward’s Hands. “His mother is a part of him, and I think that he articulates that in such a great way. (By) choosing to live out her legacy, being her son and exemplifying the heart that she has given him.”
Hayward was joined by many of his teammates to mingle with the families before he surprised them. When he made the announcement, many were brought to tears, so thankful for what they received.
“It meant a lot to me and my family because right now we’re going through a lot, so it just helps us out around Christmastime,” mentioned Anthony Green, who received a gift from Hayward with his wife and four children. “He’s a lifesaver. He’s a wonderful guy to help the families out. Just an amazing person.”
Hayward’s teammates weren’t the least bit surprised with what he did on Thursday. After all, they know how much giving back means to the Chargers’ 2017 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee.
“It just shows his heart, and it just shows you the reason why he’s blessed,” Jahleel Addae said. “He’s been blessed to be in the position that he’s in and make the kind of money. For him to give back to families in this time of the season, it’s tight for people. We live in a world that is really fantasy, and to give back and just see what he did for these families today, put smiles on their (faces) and these little kids out here getting teddy bears and just the little stuff, man, it goes a long way. Much respect to Showcase.”