Geno Atkins has been named Week 15 NFLPA Community MVP for personally providing tens of thousands of dollars in resources, financial assistance and events for 50 families in need during his "Atkins Week of Giving."
"It's such an honor being named the Week 15 NFLPA Community MVP," Atkins said. "While we don't give for the recognition, it's great to see the amount of people that are being helped through our story being told."
From Dec. 10-16, Atkins and his wife Kristen hosted a tremendous display of charitable work for a number of families across the Cincinnati area. After sifting through more than 200 nominations gathered via a social media campaign, their acts of kindness included:
- Purchasing beds, infant clothing and baby items for multiple families
- Covering hte costs of dental bills and new dentures for one household
- Contributing to a family going through the adoption process
- Donating to a campus missionary
- Paying AAU basketball fees for a family
- Hosting a shopping spree for a family of four
- Buying furniture and clothing for multiple families experiencing tough times
- Purchasing a new laptop for a young boy who is an aspiring entrepreneur
- Hosting a family of six at the Dec. 16 Cincinnati Bengals game.
- Donating gloves, blankets, socks and hand/feet warmers to Blessings Bags of Love, which serves the homeless population in Cincinnati
- Providing gift cards ranging from $250-$300 for families to shop for groceries and other items
The Pro Bowl defensive tackle, who called families throughout the week to deliver the news, capped the week by hosting a party at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.
"My wife and I recognize how blessed we truly are," Atkins said, "so we want to be an answered prayer and spread love through giving."
Atkins has frequently demonstrated this passion for helping people during his nine-year NFL career. He has participated in the Adopt-A-Family program through the Freestore Foodbank, personally shopping for several large families and providing roughly 100 gifts throughout the years.
Along with being an ambassador for the American Diabetes Association and National Kidney Foundation, Atkins has also donated $25,000 to Beloved Atlanta in its work to support victims of sex trafficking and participated in the Gwinnett County Public Schools Mentoring Program – both of which are in Georgia, where he played college football.
In honor of Atkins being named this week's Community MVP, the NFLPA will make a $10,000 contribution to his foundation or charity of choice along with an in-kind donation to him on behalf of our supporting partner Delta Private Jets. A limited-edition bobblehead will also be made of Atkins and sold by Forever Collectibles at www.foco.com. The NFLPA will donate part of the proceeds from this collector's item to their charity or foundation of choice.
Atkins, along with the other 2018 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 local communities. Each week during the regular season, the NFLPA will celebrate one NFL player who has demonstrated a commitment to giving back to his community. Please visit our website to read more about the program as well as the current and past winners.