Community Corner: Giving from the heart

June 6, 2023

Giving from the heart: A little more than a year ago, Bella Stosic suffered a traumatic brain injury that impacted the now 14-year-old beyond what her family could have imagined.

While playing basketball, she fell backwards trying to battle for the ball, hitting her head and suffering the injury. She spent time in UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and still has lingering effects.

Even though she is fighting her own battle, Stosic wanted to do something for others in a similar situation, so she launched a fundraiser for Traumatic Brain Injury Month, selling bracelets she had made to benefit the Chuck Noll Foundation for Brain Injury Research.

Stosic raised $5,000 and on Tuesday, along with her parents, met with Steelers President Art Rooney II, along with foundation executive director John Denny and foundation National Science Advisory Committee Member and UPMC Neurosurgeon Joseph Maroon at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.

"She wanted to raise awareness and money for research, so she started to look for a foundation to donate to and help," said her mother, Jodi Stosic. "She chose the Chuck Noll Foundation, and then had bracelets made that said, 'brain injury awareness.' They sold them at school for $2 and she raised $5,000. She is a pretty amazing kid.

"Bella has always been a person that wanted to help others. She donated her time to churches, the library, and other things in the community since she was in the sixth grade. She loves to help everybody. It shows what a big heart she has.

"She is an inspiration to me. She is a rock star. I look at her and I don't know if I would be as positive as she is going through everything she has gone through. A lot of people in the community say she inspires them. Everything she had to do in treatment, she had a positive attitude and busted her butt. I don't know if everybody is like that."

Stosic understands the value of organizations such as the Chuck Noll Foundation and the impactful work they do to help so many in the Pittsburgh area and beyond.

"I think it's amazing," said Stosic. "We are so grateful they have helped us through the journey we have been on. It's unbelievable they have wanted to help Bella and the work they are doing to help other people."


A step to save lives: As a part of National CPR and AED Awareness Week, Steelers defensive linemen Montravius Adams and Isaiahh Loudermilk visited Pittsburgh Sterrett Classical Academy to share the importance and work with the kids on training.

Each year National CPR and AED Awareness Week spotlights how lives can be saved if more Americans know CPR and how to use an AED. About 70 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in homes. If you are called on to give CPR in an emergency, you will most likely be trying to save the life of someone you love and you can be the difference for your parent, spouse, or child.


June 3, 2023

June 2, 2023

Ending gun violence: As a part of National Gun Violence Awareness Day, the Steelers are doing their part to bring attention to something that is taking too many lives in our country.

People across the country are wearing orange today, and iconic buildings like Acrisure Stadium are lighting up orange to bring attention to the importance of ending gun violence and honoring those lost to it.

June 1, 2023

Golfing for good: Miles Boykin and Zach Gentry partnered with the Salvation Army Western Pa. Division for the Project Bundle-Up TopGolf Classic.

The event benefits the programs offered through Project Bundle-Up, something the Steelers have a long relationship with.

The Salvation Army's Project Bundle-Up is a program started by two late Pittsburgh staples, Patricia Rooney, the wife of late Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney, and Joe DeNardo, the former WTAE-TV weatherman. It provides winter outerwear for kids and seniors alike, making sure nobody is cold in the Pittsburgh winter months.

May 24, 2023

Fun and games: Tight end Pat Freiermuth spent Wednesday afternoon having fun with the kids at the Boys & Girls Club in Carnegie, Pa.

"I love to interact with the community and see the smiles on the kids' faces," said Freiermuth. "It means a lot to them and to me. I enjoy engaging with the community. It's a passion of mine. I love being around the kids, seeing their smiles and making lasting memories."

Freiermuth got the kids active playing different games and stressing the importance of physical fitness to an age group that can often opt for cell phones and video games as entertainment.

"It's big time," said Freiermuth. "Staying active is big for them. Being healthy is important. The longer you can get away from your phone, the better."


May 10, 2023

Celebrating a special day: Miles Killebrew wanted to do something special for his 30th birthday, and for someone who isn't a fan of big parties and a lot of attention, he found the perfect way to celebrate.

Instead of making the day about him, Killebrew spent part of his birthday at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, hanging out with the patients and delivering gifts to unsuspecting kids as a part of 'Smiles with Miles.'

"I have never liked being the center of attention on my birthday, not since I was real little," said Killebrew. "My wife, Kailah, asked me what I wanted to do, if I wanted to throw a big party. It's not in my heart. I love making it about other people. I thought there is no better way to do that than on my birthday.

"I wanted to celebrate someone that usually doesn't get celebrated. I wanted to do it for the kids at Children's Hospital. If I can make my day about them and see their smiles, you end up feeling fulfilled. It ends up being the biggest present ever. I wanted to spend some time with them, let them know I want to be there. If they can say this is a great day, I will feel like I had a good day myself."

It was a great day for the kids, who were smiling from ear to ear as their spirits picked up with the fun surprise.

"They weren't expecting it and it was a blast. It's like it's their birthday," said Killebrew. "I have a heart for kids. I figured why not do what I really want to do on my birthday, which is put a smile on some kids faces that weren't expecting it."


May 9, 2023

A surprise of a lifetime: Some of the most important people in the lives of children are being celebrated this week as a part of Teacher Appreciation Week across the country.

And the Steelers partnered with the Today Show to show a special teacher in Wichita, Kansas some black and gold love.

Earlier this year students at Northeast Magnet High School surprised LaShay Powell, who is known as 'Ms. Pow Pow,' with a custom Steelers jersey and shared it in a video that went viral on social media. Powell is a lifelong Steelers fan and receiving the jersey brought her to tears.

On Tuesday, it went one step further when former Steelers quarterback Kordell Stewart, who is one of her favorite players, joined the Today Show to surprise her with tickets for a game in 2023. Powell had met Stewart when she was 12 years old, and he was a quarterback at the University of Colorado. When he was drafted by the Steelers, she instantly became a fan.

Powell, who teaches history and law classes, was in shock and total excitement when Stewart surprised her in front of a large group of students in the school's gym and presented her with flowers, a Steelers gift basket and the game tickets.

"Congratulations," said Stewart. "On behalf of myself and the Pittsburgh Steelers we would like to present you with two tickets to one of this season's games. Go out and enjoy yourself and have a great time."

April 18, 2023

Running back Najee Harris visited Pittsburgh's Arsenal Middle School on Tuesday afternoon in conjunction with UPMC Children's Hospital CHAMP program and the Pitt Department of Pediatrics.

The CHAMP program is a collaboration between the hospital and Arsenal Middle School to provide integrated mentorship and well-being for a community of underrepresented medical (URM) and middle school students in the city. The purpose is to increase the pipeline of URMs and promote careers in pediatrics, medicine and higher education.

Harris was there as part of the mentorship and experience bridge program that involves individuals from local organizations. Harris spent time with the students doing activities and then took time out to share his story with the kids.


March 29, 2023

Dressed for success: Cameron Heyward and The Heyward House hosted the second annual Suiting Up for Success Soiree at the Grand Concourse, celebrating the accomplishments of local high school seniors.

Heyward celebrated 36 male high school seniors from 12 high schools in the Pittsburgh area, all chosen by their schools for their leadership, character and ability to overcome challenges faced by today's youth. The Heyward House provided each of them with a custom suit from Surmesur, and all the accessories through his 'Craig's Closet' program, as well as a photo shoot and a private dinner with Heyward.

"This is our second event like this, so it's even better," said Charlotte Heyward, Heyward's mom and the executive director of the foundation. "It is a blessing in so many different ways. The feedback we have gotten back from parents, counselors, the young men themselves, you don't realize how much a suit and the small amount of recognition from our foundation means to them. Last year we had one young man come up to me in tears. He told me thank you so much for everything. It was his first suit, and he was so excited. It's just a blessing.

"This is what it's for. Cam and the foundation don't do anything for recognition. We do a lot of stuff that we don't talk about. We just want to help people. When you have been blessed, you have to give back. That is a duty. It's what God has given us to do."

The students also received guidance from business leaders in different fields, including a trade school, local authors, collegiate admission directors and Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis, on hand to show his support of Heyward's charitable efforts.

Craig's Closet has been a staple for The Heyward House since 2018, launched in honor of his late father, Craig 'Ironhead' Heyward, who died from a brain tumor in 2006, at just 39 years old.
His father played football at the University of Pittsburgh, and when he arrived as a freshman running back, he had only one suit, something he was grateful to have since he came from a single-parent home with six siblings.

With so many young men in Pittsburgh facing the same challenge of not having a suit that they could wear to a job interview, internship, events and more, Heyward produced a plan. Craig's Closet provides free dress clothes to help young men as they move forward in life, and the Suiting Up for Success program is an extension of that.

"The idea came from my dad," said Heyward. "When he grew up, he only had one suit. A lot of his friends didn't have suits at all. This is a creative way we thought of to give back to the community and help prepare young men for jobs, or homecoming, moving forward in life. You never know how much a suit can help you present yourself."