When Steelers fans began to reach out to linebacker James Harrison and send donations for him to pay the fines that that NFL had levied on him during the 2010 season, he knew he had to do something.
Harrison had no intention of putting the money toward paying the fines. Instead, he wanted to do something meaningful with the money.
"People were sending money and I didn't have a way to get it back to them so I started a foundation," said Harrison, referring to the James Harrison Family Foundation. "It's two-fold, it helps me to help those less fortunate than me and it lets me give back. You can do a lot more with a foundation raising money.
"It's better to give than to receive. I am in a position where I can give a lot more than most people."
The mission of the foundation is to help children and families in need and promote personal growth. It also promotes a message that Harrison has held close in his own life, to never give up.
"I believe that is the message in life," said Harrison. "You never want to give up on anything you want to do or things people tell you that you can't do."
The first endeavor for the foundation is a Brunch with Santa at Heinz Field on Saturday, December 18 from 10 am-1 pm. Those who attend will enjoy brunch, games and activities and have the opportunity to get their photo taken with Santa and Harrison.
"We got started around Christmas and I figured it was the best thing to get going and get the kids involved with was this," said Harrison. "The foundation is aimed at helping kids."
Tickets for the brunch are available for $25 for children 12 and under and $50 for adults. Guests will also be able to obtain autographs from four Steelers players for an additional donation of $40.
Guests are also invited to make a donation of a new unwrapped toy, coat, or gloves for the Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh. Proceeds benefit the Shelter and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
For more information or to buy tickets visit The James Harrison Family Foundation.
UPDATE: The Brunch is Sold Out!