Hours before being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers, running back Najee Harris stopped by the homeless shelter where he lived in Richmond, California. There, the 23-year-old hosted a draft night and provided food for everyone in attendance.
“I wanted to make sure I could give back to the community and show them if you still need anything – I’m never too fat or too much to help you out, I’ll always be a helping hand,” Harris said. .
In 2010, Harris was living with his mother and four siblings in a small room at the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program shelter. Kathleen Sullivan, the executive director of the organization, told CBS San Francisco: “His mother was instrumental in bringing him and all of these children through what would normally be the most horrific experience of their lives. . “
The Steelers selected Harris of the University of Alabama with the 32nd pick overall. He is expected to have an immediate impact on the team. He helped Alabama win two national championships in 2017 and 2020 and won last year’s Doak Walker Award, which is awarded to the best running back in college football. He’s also stepping down as the university’s all-time leader in touchdowns with 57.
Harris is working to start a nonprofit organization in Richmond and he hopes to continue giving back to the shelter in the years to come. “There was a time when I needed a helping hand. They gave us the opportunity to get back on our feet. So it’s my job to give back,” Harris told reporters.