Since his rookie year, wide receiver Pierre Garçon has made it his mission to give back in any way he can. We've seen Garçon work with the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, establish his own charities, and even travel the world to personally contribute.
As a result, the Washington Redskins selected Garçon this past December as their nominee for the 2016 Walter Payton Man of the Year award, which recognizes an NFL player for his excellence on and off the field.
In 2008, Garçon was drafted by the Indiana Colts in the sixth round and he went on to establish the Pierre Garçon Helping Hands Foundation that same year. As a public figure, he hoped to use his status as a way to bring attention to the causes he felt strongly about, which was recently documented by NFL Player Engagement Insider Jim Gehman.
When Garçon was picked up by the Redskins in 2012 as a free agent, he brought his charitable works with him to Washington and they continue to thrive to this day. One is the annual Pierre Garçon All-White Party that has raised nearly $400,000 for the Boys & Girls Club alone.
Outside of his own endeavours, Garçon actively supports the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation by dedicating his off days to assist with events such as Teacher Appreciation Kickoff, Redskins FITT, and Salute to Play 60.
On a more personal level, Garçon has worked relentlessly to support his family's homeland, Haiti. He makes annual mission trips to help raise money and awareness for the country's difficult living conditions. This past October, Garçon led a Redskins relief effort and traveled to Haiti after the devastating destruction of Hurricane Matthew to bring water and medical supplies.
Garçon's mission to help change the world is fueled by the community efforts he experienced growing up. "I grew up in our church and we played sports all the time," he recalled to NFL Player Engagement. "We always had somebody to take us to church, take us to school programs. The guy that always picked us up, without him, I wouldn't be where I am now. I want to put out what he put into me."
The Redskins recognize Garçon as a humanitarian who has given back through charity and on the field. Garcon leads the Redskins in most recorded receptions (356), including a league-leading and team-record 113 receptions in 2013. Garçon is one of 32 candidates to receive the league-wide award to acknowledge a player's community service and volunteer efforts as well as his excellence on the field. The winner will be announced in Houston at the NFL Honors on Feb. 4.