Michigan running back Blake Corum uses his NIL money to help Ypsilanti's needy have a better Thanksgiving

Tomorrow on Thanksgiving. While many of us will be thankful with our families surrounding a table filled with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie, so many more will be struggling to get by. No turkey. No stuffing. No cranberries. No pie. No family. No wonder there’s so much sadness and depression this time of the year.

And yet there always seems to be stories of someone making sacrifices to try to make the holidays better for those in need.

Until this year, college athletes were unpaid for their services except for their scholarships. In many cases, the scholarship only partially paid for their tuition and room/board. The student-athlete and their family were responsible for the rest. You’d hear many stories about how a player wouldn’t have enough money to buy a pizza, go on a date or even do their laundry.

Now that has somewhat changed. College athletes can make money through what is called NIL. The acronym stands for Name, Image, Likeness. That means athletes can now use their image to promote businesses. For instance, if a local Honda dealership wants to use the team’s quarterback to help sell Accords, he can get paid for his services. In a lot of cases, the dealership will even give the player the use of a car.

The University of Michigan running back Blake Corum has always believed in giving back to the community. NIL has worked out very well for him, so he decided to use some of his money to help those who need some help. In an interview with The Detroit News, Corum said what he was going to do and why it was important to him:

“I’ve always given back, whether it’s a football camp or small things. I’ve always invested in giving back to my community and trying to get the next generation to live out their dreams. Thanksgiving was coming along, NIL is going really good, and I told my Dad, I’m going to buy 100 turkeys.”

Last Sunday, Corum, along with his teammate, Nikhai Hill-Green, organized an event called “Giving Back 2 Give Thanks”, in Ypsilanti, to give away one hundred turkeys. Other local charities joined in to double the number of turkeys given away to two hundred. They also added milk, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese plus some canned goods to make a full Thanksgiving meal.

“When I was growing up in the athletic world, people helped me. They looked out, they helped me,” Corum said. “I didn’t really need much, but people were there for me. I just wanted to be able to give back in any way possible whether it be giving out turkeys, just small things that put a smile on someone’s face. It’s an important holiday. Everyone deserves to have a nice little meal.”

On Thursday, Blake Corum turns twenty-one years old. Instead of getting presents, he celebrates by giving to others. Happy Birthday. Happy Thanksgiving

This is the latest in the ongoing series Faces of Homelessness

Related Post: Seattle Seahawks star Bobby Wagner makes it a happy Thanksgiving for his community

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