Steelers making a difference in the community

The Steelers continual commitment to their community took another step on Thursday when one of the first donations of the Steelers Social Justice Grant program for this year was announced.

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

Steelers' players are doing their part to make a difference, aiding organizations financially and by giving their time to local organizations.

The first donation the team announced this year was made to the Homewood Children's Village, a United Way Agency, with Cam Heyward making a donation and the team also contributing, for a total donation of $30,000.

"For the second consecutive year, we are pleased to join our players on the Social Justice Initiative to support significant programs in the community," said Steelers President Art Rooney II. "Our players and the organization have a long-standing relationship helping out in our communities, and we are always appreciative of the time given back to help those in need. Ramon Foster, Cameron Heyward and Maurkice Pouncey again took leadership in helping identify important programs to support and I want to thank them for their efforts."

Heyward selected the organization because he understands the battles many in the area face.

"It's not only a community that is very giving and receiving of us, but my grandparents grew up not very far from there," said Heyward. "It's like home for me. The more I can help out, I want to.

"It goes a long way there. Just to interact with the children and the people there. The more we can do for them the better. They appreciate the work we do and are very thankful."

The mission of the Homewood Children's Village is to improve the lives of Homewood's children and simultaneously reweave the fabric of the community in which they live. They engage with the kids in the community from birth through school and to help them find a career. The programs they offer take place during school, after school and in the summer months.

"I think it's incredible. It's great to have the financial support and resources to continue to do the work that we do," said Walter Lewis, President and CEO of Homewood Children's Village. "It's also exciting because it's the Steelers, so I think it means something special to the community and the kids. It's makes our kids excited when it's the Steelers, the team they know and root for, support the work and the community."

The locker room banded together to help in the community through this program, reaching so many different facets. And the results are showing.

"All the different programs, we get our teammates involved and Mr. Rooney gives back as well," said Heyward. "There are real causes that we care about. The fact that we can go out and support those causes and make a real difference is huge to us."