JuJu Smith-Schuster made a commitment, and despite the shoulder injury he suffered in Sunday's win over the Denver Broncos, he kept his commitment. And he did it with a smile on his face, and a positive attitude in his huge heart.
"I know it may seem like times are tough, but right now I am happy in adversity," said Smith-Schuster. "I am happy because this is God's plan. There is something that was said in our receiver's room, we call it positive land where you stay in a positive mindset and let God do the rest. This is part of the process."
Part of the process for Smith-Schuster was hosting his second annual JuJu Foundation Luau on Monday night, a night to honor his Samoan heritage while at the same time help those he serves through the foundation.
The event had everything a traditional Samoan luau would have, from the attire guests wore, to the flowers and décor, to the food, including a pig roast, and the amazing entertainment, which ranged from calming music and dancing to electrifying moves that left the crowd amazed.
While there was plenty of fun, the night was about giving back, something Smith-Schuster does without hesitation.
"I grew up in a household with 23 people," said Smith-Schuster. "It's unreal that my family and myself are able to do this. I never thought I would have the opportunity or to be someone to be able to give back in so many different ways. I am just so blessed. I am so thankful to them.
"It was instilled in me at a young age to always give back and help others."
He presented the Boys and Girls Club of Western Pa. and Reading is FUNdamental with grants for $25,000 each, money that will go far to benefit kids in the Pittsburgh area.
Recently the foundation awarded scholarships to four recipients, each receiving $5,000 for their education. He also hosted kids through the Boys and Girls Club of Western Pa. on a back-to-school shopping spree, not just buying the items for them, but taking them shopping and enjoying the experience with them.
In the spring Smith-Schuster gave grants to 10 Pittsburgh charities for a combined $75,000. He chose the organizations based on the work they do to improve the lives of Pittsburgh residents and lifting the spirits of those in need. The grant recipients included Animal Advocates, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, Homeless Children's Education Fund, Jeremiah's Place, Holy Family Institute, Light of Life Rescue Mission, PA Women Work, Reading Is FUNdamental Pittsburgh, Unpack U, and UPMC Senior Services.
Smith-Schuster is dedicated to helping more kids and organization in the future, and a live and silent auction, including an item some of his teammates on hand signed in front of the crowd, were among the things guests had the opportunity to bid on.
Pittsburgh Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster hosted the annual JuJu Foundation Luau in downtown Pittsburgh