McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — A Washington Redskins player has become so moved by the plight of migrant children in the Rio Grande Valley that he has made two trips to visit with them in McAllen, Texas.
All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman is usually intercepting footballs on Sunday, but lately, he has been bringing toys and pizza for children housed at the Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, and he has plans to do more, the center’s executive director said this past Friday.
Sister Norma Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley said Norman on Monday, July 22, even flew her to his northern Virginia home to discuss what more he can do to help.
“He had heard about what was happening at the border and he wanted to see himself what was happening and what was going on with all of the children … so he came to the respite center,” Sister Norma said on Friday via phone. “He was really moved and said ‘Anything I could do to help this situation.’”
So far, Norman has given the center a check for $18,000 and purchased an industrial washer and dryer for them, which they use to wash towels for the 700 migrants who come there each day.
During his two visits in recent months, he bought 150 pizzas for the migrants and went to a local department store to buy toys for 200 children, Sister Norma said.
“He is an extraordinary young man. He was moved by what he saw and he really wants to help,” said Sister Norma, whose facility has helped over 160,000 migrants since opening in 2014.
Sister Norma said that this is the first time since the center opened that she can recall any NFL player visiting, or any professional athlete doing so much with her nonprofit organization to help migrants or their children.
During her visit on Monday to Norma’s house, Sister Norma said she helped to film a future promotional video featuring charitable efforts by NFL players.
“He wanted me to be part of filming for the NFL on how the players do charitable work,” she said.
Next, she is to select a migrant family who she said the NFL will fly to New Orleans to feature in their promotional video, which will be released in upcoming weeks.
When asked if she was given any Redskins swag during her trip, Sister Norma joked that she was so overwhelmed by his outpouring of support that she didn’t ask for anything.
“Oh, he did offer to fly me in for a game,” she added.
Sandra Sanchez can be reached at SSanchez@BorderReport.com.