WASHINGTON, D.C. – Bobby Wagner has been named Week 13 NFLPA Community MVP for packing up Thanksgiving meals at a local grocery store and helping deliver them to homeless families in Seattle, while also spontaneously deciding to pick up the tab for all the shoppers on site for an hour.
“Thank you to the players union for the recognition,” Wagner said. “I’m humbled and just want to help make the world a better place, the best that I can.”
The Seattle Seahawks player rep did just that during Thanksgiving week. He and several volunteers set up shop at a local store to prep and box up meals for nine encampment sites that provide shelter and resources for the homeless. Wagner initially partnered with the sites through Low Income Housing Institute earlier this year as part of his ongoing work to combat the growing issue of homelessness in Seattle.
While working in the back , Wagner noticed the many people in the store buying items for their holiday dinner. The scene moved him to spontaneously and anonymously cover the grocery tab for all of the shoppers who were on site during his final hour of packing meals.
Ultimately, some students from West Seattle High School recognized Wagner after catching a glimpse of him. Thanks to their posts on social media, word began to spread, leading others to connect the dots that Wagner was the anonymous donor paying for everyone’s groceries.
“I thought it’d be cool if, when they went to the cash register, they didn’t have to pay,” the Seahawks linebacker told the media last week after the news got out. “When I do [community service], it’s genuine and it’s from the heart. I don’t really care if people see that I do it, or notice that I do it, or even recognize it was me doing it. I just do it because I feel like there’s a lot of people out there that need a hand, and I try to lend them a hand.”
Since entering the NFL in 2012, Wagner has earned a reputation around the league as a player who consistently performs good deeds off the field while keeping his work as quiet as possible. Through his “Bwagz Sees You initiative,” Wagner not only delivered much-needed supplies to encampment sites on multiple occasions this year, but he also purchased nine of the Low Income Housing Institute’s tiny houses to aid the development of more encampment sites for the homeless.
Just this past year, Wagner has packed meals for 10,000 food-insecure children in his hometown of Ontario, California, hosted a special bowling experience for 54 kids during Pro Bowl week in Orlando, and brightened up the holiday season for nearly 100 Seattle youth by treating them to a secret Santa shopping spree.
In honor of Wagner being named this week’s Community MVP, the NFLPA will make a $10,000 contribution to the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI). Also, our supporting partner Pledge It has set up a crowdfunding campaign to support LIHI. Supporters can make a flat donation at the following website:pledgeit.org/bobbywagner.
Wagner, along with the other 2019 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.
2019 NFLPA Community MVP winners:
Week 0: Derrick Nnadi, Kansas City Chiefs
Week 1: Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings
Week 2: Rashaad Coward, Chicago Bears
Week 3: Lonnie Johnson, Houston Texans
Week 4: Calais Campbell, Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 5: Brandon Carr, Baltimore Ravens
Week 6: Deatrich Wise JR. New England Patriots
Week 7: Dustin Colquitt, Kansas City Chiefs
Week 8: Demario Davis, New Orleans Saints
Week 9: Cameron Heyward, Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 10: Kelvin Beachum, New York Jets
Week 11: Richard Sherman, San Francisco 49ers
Week 12: Mark Barron, Pittsburgh Steelers