Keeping it in the family

Mel Blount is someone who will forever be a part of the Steelers family, and what a family does is help each other.

That is why the latest donation from the Steelers' Social Justice Grant program is supporting the work Blount does through the Mel Blount Youth Home.

Blount was presented with a $10,000 check which reflects donations from nose tackle Javon Hargrave as well as the Steelers organization.

"It's a tremendous honor first for the Steelers to think of us like this, the players and the team," said Blount. "The other thing is the help it provides for the kids. It gives ability for us to go out and do things for the kids. We buy a lot of things for the kids, from back to school, to Christmas, and so forth. It's a tremendous help. Even more importantly it shows how strong the Steelers family is."

The social justice grant program, which is led by the players themselves, is an effort to engage with various factions, including law enforcement, charitable organizations, and more to strengthen the community at large.

For Blount the funds will help with the programs he provides in Pittsburgh, including summer programs and his youth summit, which are geared to helping inner city youth. And what touches him the most is the players are behind part of it, especially since many of them have visited the Youth Home through the years.

"A lot of the players, starting from back in Ben Roethlisberger's rookie year, they have been to the home," said Blount. "They come out to the home in the spring and are familiar with what we are doing. For them to think of us this time of year through the Social Justice Program, we are thankful for what they do for us."

Blount is extremely grateful for the financial donation as that is what keeps the programs afloat, but he also knows the players giving of their time is just as important in continuing his mission.

"The money is important. You need that," said Blount. "It's a necessary vehicle to do the work that we need to do. But the players giving their time and themselves, and their presence among kids, has a tremendous influence on the young people. I would always take the time and presence because of what it means to our young people."

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