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Arizona Cardinals Player Uses NFL Platform to Spotlight Charity Work

The need to give back to others was instilled in Kelvin Beachum at an early age, according to the Arizona Cardinals offensive tackle. Beachum grew up in Mexia, Texas, and said his parents were “deeply entrenched” in his hometown community.

“I got to see it firsthand what it looked like to serve [others],” Beachum said.

Now, Beachum is hoping to use his platform as an NFL player to inspire others to volunteer inside their own communities, or even across the globe.

In 2016, Beachum traveled to Honduras with World Vision International, a faith-based humanitarian nonprofit organization. Earlier this year, he partnered with the nonprofit once again, this time traveling to the Republic of Zambia.

“Going into Honduras and seeing some of the challenges that many of the folks out there in Honduras [face] was, you know, eye-opening,” Beachum said. “Going to, you know, Zambia this past year, was even more eye-opening considering the level of strain to many people’s families and in some of the lives of some individuals there.”

While in Zambia, Beachum spent time with families who often walk over six kilometers a day in order to access water – water that, more often than not, is contaminated.

Beachum said one of the most powerful moments of the trip was meeting a woman named Susan who makes a daily trip to get water from a stream. Days prior to Beachum’s visit, he said, a cow fell into the water source and died.

“To realize that that same water hole, I won’t even say it’s a consistent stream of water, but that watering hole was infected with a dead cow just days prior,” Beachum said. “Being exposed to that particular experience, into that life, I think that for me was I think what was so life-changing.”

According to Beachum, being immersed in Susan’s daily experience helped him further understand what families in the region go through, especially when it comes to accessing water.

“I think many people hear about the stories, but I think seeing the story, smelling the story, touching the story, I think that really is what hits different sensors and strikes different nerves within your body,” Beachum said.

Throughout the current holiday season, Beachum has volunteered at several local charity events. While he encourages others to give back in their own communities, he said he hopes his volunteer efforts abroad will inspire people to step outside of their comfort zones when it comes to giving back.

“Take the time to really go and immerse yourself in a different culture and a different country and a different language. Because it does challenge you, it does push you,” Beachum said. “And it does cause you to think about things in a much different way. And I think at the end of the day, it really does teach you how to be empathetic.”

Source: abc15 Arizona