LA Chargers News

LaDainian Tomlinson joins forces with FedEx to support USO

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 06: Emcee LaDainian Tomlinson addresses guests in the Nationwide Lounge at the JW Marriott on February 6, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images for Nationwide)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 06: Emcee LaDainian Tomlinson addresses guests in the Nationwide Lounge at the JW Marriott on February 6, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images for Nationwide)
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I recently met up with LT, who is looking to raise awareness in light of recent tragedies.

LaDainian Tomlinson was an incredible player on the football field.

He’s also an incredible person off the field.

The 2017 Hall of Fame running back joined forces with FedEx, the Official Delivery Service Sponsor of the NFL, to help raise awareness of the FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Week program, a program in which fans vote for the best quarterback and running back performances each week through 17 weeks. Back for the 15th consecutive year, the program will provide support to the United Service Organization (USO).

“The donation goes to the USO program, which supports our service men and women, their transition from the military to civilian life,” Tomlinson said. “They help the transition to get houses, to really get them started back in civilian life.”

How does this work? For those who don’t know, there are six respective nominees each week (three quarterbacks and three running backs). Whoever receives the most votes at each position wins the FedEx Air and Ground Player of the Week awards. FedEx, in turn, donates $2,000 in each winning players’ names, which would be a total of $4,000.

Tomlinson said FedEx is “doing it all” in terms of money. For the fans, there’s just one thing you need to do: Vote.

“We need the votes,” Tomlinson said. “We need people to vote for these guys, so every week vote for the best performances.”

Tomlinson, who was the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Year in 2006, the year he set the single-season touchdown record, worked with FedEx in the past, hosting the yearly ceremony at one point. He has essentially become the unofficial spokesperson for this program this season.

And with the recent tragedies (Hurricanes Harvey and Irma) that surfaced, Tomlinson knows something must be done.

“A tragedy wakes you up in the sense that we’re all human, and what affects you, affects me,” he said. “We all want the same things, to have a better life for our families. And so if what helps you helps me, then why not help each other?

“When a tragic event like this happens, the response of the american people, that’s whats inspiring, and that’s what we need today. We need unity. We need people coming together. It doesn’t matter where you come from, your background, the culture and all, it doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, we’re all united.”

This is one of many programs Tomlinson’s involved with. He’s been giving back to the community through Tomlinson’s Touching Lives foundation, a set of progams dedicated to enhance the lives of deserving families through education, social and culture awareness and positive self-esteem, per their mission statement.

As for FedEx and USO, they joined forces in 2016.

“The program is part of the FedEx Cares global giving initiative, in which FedEx is committing $200 million to 200 communities around the world by 2020,” Patrick Fitzgerald, FedEx senior vice president of integrated marketing and communication, said, via Businesswire.com.

FedEx also extended its official sponsorship of the NFL, Super Bowl and Pro Bowl in April.

“The sponsorship provides us the opportunity to continue to engage with NFL fans, while giving back to the communities where our team members and customers live and work,” Fitzgerald stated, per the FedEx official website.

According to the website, FedEx has donated more than $1.7 million to local communities across the country ever since the FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Week and Players of the Year awards program was initiated. Fans can cast their votes via Twitter using #AirandGround or by going online to NFL.com/FedEx.

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