By Mary Beard
Special to Stlouisrams.com
The St. Louis Rams Community Player of the Week is wide receiver
Last year as a rookie, Chris led the Rams with 698 receiving yards proving himself to be an offensive threat. This year he has built on those skills on the field, and stepped up tremendously off the field, taking initiative in the community and going out of his way to take care of the people of St. Louis.
Chris started his sophomore season by adopting his own community outreach initiative at Lift for Life Gym. Chris stops by Life for Life on a regular basis, visiting with the youth, developing relationships and practicing sports. Chris also hosted the youth at training camp this year, at Six Flags earlier in the summer and at every Rams home game of the 2013 season. Furthermore, Chris created Givens Yards for Grades, an incentive-based program encouraging good grades and improvement in grades. To culminate the program in 2013, Chris hosted students at Dave and Busters for a celebration event.
Last week Chris made his second annual visit to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital delivering care packages as a part of the Basket of Hope Program. Chris went from room to room, visiting with patients and their families and offering up a little holiday cheer.
Earlier in December, Chris visited Carr Lane Middle School as a part of the NFL PLAY 60 Super School contest. Because of their commitment to healthy living and school spirit, Chris and his teammate
Chris has also stepped up as an integral part of the team’s community efforts this year. In the summer he played in Coach Fisher’s Celebrity Softball Game benefitting five local charities, and later played in the D-Line’s Charity Paintball Tournament benefitting the St. Patrick Center.
This fall he lent his support to the Make-A-Wish Foundation by volunteering as a celebrity server at their annual Night of Wishes. Chris, alongside his teammates worked his way through the crowd competing against each other for the highest tip totals by signing autographs and posing for pictures. From that night alone, the Missouri chapter of Make-A-Wish, with Chris’ help, was able to raise enough money to fund 56 wishes for local children battling life-threatening diseases. He also joined teammates at the 14th Annual Taste of the NFL. The event, which raised money for the St. Louis Area Foodbank and the St. Louis Sports Commission, included dishes prepared by some of the top restaurants in the city.
Chris also participates in the Rams All Community Team program, donating 20 tickets 20 food vouchers to each Rams home game to single mothers, at-risk youth and Lift for Life gym.
“It’s been a pleasure to watch Chris grow into one of our top players in terms of giving back to the community,” said Molly Higgins, Rams’ vice president of corporate communications/civic affairs. “He’s been great about assisting with many of our team-initiated community outreach activities, but probably most impressive is the work that he is doing with Lift for Life. We introduced him to the charity in the offseason and he’s taken it from there and developed a special relationship with the agency and unique bonds with the kids that they serve. It’s so rewarding to see a player really take hold of the opportunity that he has to make a difference in the lives of kids and serve as a role model for them like Chris has done for the youth at Lift for Life.”
About the Rams Community Player of the Week
Each week during the 2013 season, the St. Louis Rams will select a player who has made a positive impact on the Greater St. Louis community, giving of himself off the field. Each honored Rams Community Player of the Week will receive a gift certificate to Ruth’s Chris Steak House, the Official Steak House of the St. Louis Rams.