Taking action to help others

The Steelers commitment to their community continued when another donation through the Steelers Social Justice Grant program was announced on Wednesday.

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 most recent donation was made to ACTION-Housing: MyPlace, a United Way Agency, with several players donating and the team also contributing, for a total of $30,000.

"The spirit of this is everything," said Larry Swanson, Executive Director, ACTION-Housing. "The fact that they are stepping forward and recognizing what all of the young people who are part of our program are able to do to turn their lives around is so meaningful. I know for the staff, the case managers and the young people themselves, it means a lot. It's recognition of how these young individuals have been able to improve their lives."

My Place focuses on young individuals who have grown up in foster care and are now no longer eligible because of their age and helps them find affordable housing and offers programs to help them move forward in life.

"I learned about what they do at ACTION-Housing and took an interest in it," said Cameron Sutton, one of the players who donated. "Anytime you see something where kids are unable to be with their families, it's tough. Its's not easy to be in that situation where they don't realize what is going on, don't have the answers for themselves. For a kid of any age to be bouncing from place to place, moving all over, and then get to that age where they are basically on their own, that is a tough thing. It's great My Place helps those making that transition.

"Me being a family-oriented person, I pride myself with being around my family, connected with my family and just having a relationship with those close to me, I think it's important to help others who are in situations where that doesn't exist."

The donation will help the organization continue to offer their services, in particular the self-advancement of the individuals involved in the programs.

"Since they haven't had families, their struggle is building their own confidence, self-esteem and understanding of their value as human beings," said Swanson. "We take youth that have aged out of foster care. Before the program they would be on their own. We have put together a program working with partners to provide affordable housing for 18-24 months. They have a case manager, develop a plan of what they want to do. They are in education or job skills programs and are working at the same time. This gives them a transition period.

"This helps from that perspective. These funds will help the various activities that are related to the self-advancement of the participants and those who went through the program. I think it means a lot to the case managers and staff too. A couple who are even former participants, who came out of the system and are working with us."

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