Even though we’re no longer teammates on the field, Larry Fitzgerald and I remain teammates off the field, to help others in need. We’re working together again with Oxfam America to fight hunger around the world. This holiday season, we wanted to bring our story to you to help shed light on the global hunger issue, what we are doing with Oxfam to fight it, and how you can help.
Last March, I visited communities in Ethiopia devastated by the drought in East Africa with Larry to see first-hand the living conditions people had to endure. What we saw was both staggering and uplifting. It was staggering to see the level of poverty the Ethiopians were living in and staggering to witness, despite their conditions, how positive and hardworking these people are. Both of us have witnessed poverty and struggle in the United States, but nothing could prepare us for what we saw in Ethiopia. It’s hard to fathom the poverty without seeing it for yourself.
Larry and I visited projects in the community and lent a hand where we could. While Oxfam was providing crucial assistance, it was the people working together and lifting themselves up to feed, clothe, and house their families that was truly uplifting. We met a man with six kids who works all day for 90 cents a day—and has to have three of his kids work with him in the morning instead of going to school for an education.
Though we are back at home halfway through the NFL season, Oxfam is still there helping people improve their lives. They are helping to rebuild villages with wells, livestock, farming tools, and other life-saving resources that will have a lasting impact. It’s our job to help bring attention to the drought in East Africa and the conditions it has brought upon the people, and to show people there are ways to help.
After visiting Ethiopia and seeing both the struggles and hope, I remain as thankful as ever this holiday season. While you reflect on what you’re grateful for in your life, also use the holidays as an opportunity to give back, within and outside your own community. We all need to work together to create positive and lasting change in the lives others.
Anquan Boldin is a wide receiver for the Baltimore Ravens, and a supporter of Oxfam America