Steelers’ Najee Harris attended draft party at homeless shelter where he used to live
New Pittsburgh Steelers rookie Najee Harris has lived a life reminiscent of a Disney-produced sports movie. At the risk of sounding cliched, his is the story of the American Dream: having the ability to pick yourself up by your bootstraps and rising as high as you can go. And what’s more incredible about his life is that, just as it has reached its highest peak yet, he still hasn’t forgotten where he came from.
Harris was the sixth player taken from SEC powerhouse Alabama in the 2021 NFL Draft, selected with the 24th pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers. This already makes him a winner, as he enters his rookie season as an immediate starter. But considering where he came from, the win is even more significant.
To celebrate, Harris hosted a draft party at the homeless shelter where he and his family once lived growing up. Kylen Mills of KRON 4 News was able to get a few words out of an emotional Harris during the event:
Whatever team drafts Alabama's Najee Harris is getting a special person. Today he threw a draft party for kids at the homeless shelter where he lived for several years growing up. He told me it was emotional the first time he went back to visit. @kron4news #NFLDraft #RollTide pic.twitter.com/JadBIFh4pd
— Kylen Mills (@KylenMills) April 30, 2021
“There was a time I needed a helping hand. They gave us an opportunity to get back on our feet,” Harris told reporters. “So it is my job to give back.”
The ‘they’ Harris alluded to is the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program, the organization behind the shelter. The director, Kathleen Sullivan, had the following to say about Harris and his recent success:
“Just to see him as a grown man with this kind of opportunity for him today and to know that he lived in this shelter among many other places their family had to move around and lives as a homeless man just speaks to the anything is possible.”
No truer words. The Steelers know that they are not just getting an incredible talent (as ‘Bama running backs tend to be), but a generous, humble, and driven human being. Kyle Mills put it best in another tweet:
“Najee’s biggest reason for doing all of this (he didn’t want the draft party to be about him) was to raise awareness for homelessness!!”
You can donate to the shelter at gripcares.org. Congratulations to Najee Harris, and congratulations to the Pittsburgh Steelers for snagging an incredible young man. Here’s hoping for everything good to come his way.