During National Volunteer Week, we celebrate volunteers who lend their time, talent, voice and support to causes they care about. Their stories inspire others to take action and discover their collective power to unite in making a difference. Points of Light is recognizing five NFL players with Daily Point of Light Awards; Competitors on the field, these players unite for a common cause as volunteers with the Van Duzer Foundation’s First Step program – acting as mentors and ambassadors of change. Meet honoree Coty Sensabaugh, read his story and nominate an outstanding volunteer, family or organization as a Daily Point of Light.
“I volunteer because I enjoy putting smiles on other people’s faces,” said Coty Sensabaugh, cornerback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Coty finds every excuse to help others – even at his own wedding, where in lieu of gifts, he and his wife, Dominique, asked guests to donate shoes or money to Soles4Souls. Accompanied by friends and family, the newlyweds traveled to the Dominican Republic and distributed more than 500 pairs of shoes to adults and children in need. Through his involvement with the group, Coty has helped collect more than 11,000 pairs of shoes.
Along with fellow NFL players and Daily Point of Light Award honorees Jonathan Meeks and Michael Thomas, Coty has partnered with Food for the Hungry, an organization that strives to end human poverty and world hunger around the world, to help provide fresh water systems to communities in Haiti. He also runs an annual free youth football camp, now in its fifth year, has served more than 2,000 children in his home community of Kingsport, Tennessee.
Committed to serving others, Coty now participates in the First Step Program – an initiative led by Daily Point of Light Award honoree Scott Van Duzer that gives kids and teens the opportunity to engage with community leaders on a regular basis, coming together for casual pick-up games, mentoring and small group discussions on community issues.
While playing with the Tennessee Titans, Coty helped raise more than $50,000 for a research grant for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through a dinner called “Dine with the Titans.” In 2012, he was the runner-up for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Man of the Year award in Nashville, and in 2013 he received the Boy Scouts Distinguished Citizenship Award. Coty is also a recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award.
“I always told myself that if I was fortunate enough to make it to the NFL, I would come back and give back to the community,” Coty said.
You can help these Daily Point of Light honorees increase the impact of their work! The First Step program has pitched its creative solution to solving community needs to A Community Thrives, part of the USA Today network. Cast your vote to help First Step win a $100,000 grant to expand the program to neighborhoods across the United States. Vote today!