The San Francisco 49ers have players doing plenty of good work off the field, and one of the notable ones is wide receiver Anquan Boldin. For the second straight season, he is the team's nominee for the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. Boldin, along with Aaron Rodgers, was a finalist last year, with the award going to Thomas Davis.
The Walter Payton award "recognizes a player for their commitment to excellence on and off the field." Each nominee for the award receives a $5,000 donation to the charity of their choice. The winner of the award receivers an additional $50,000 donation, and the two runner-ups each receive an additional $6,000 donation.
There is an additional charitable option that fans can help with on social media. Each nominee has a unique hashtag and fans will be encouraged to tweet using player hashtags. The player hashtag that generates the most mentions will win a $20,000 donation to his charity of choice from Nationwide. Anquan Boldin's hashtag is #BoldinWPMOYChallenge. Include that in tweets and the more we can get, the better.
Boldin has a very active life helping his various communities. This covers his hometown of Pahokee, Florida, as well as cities where he has played. Additionally, he has worked with OxFam since 2010 to help lobby on behalf of Ethiopia and Senegal. Here is a rundown on his many off-field activities:
The 2003 NFL Rookie of the Year established the Anquan Boldin (Q81) Foundation in 2004, which is dedicated to expanding the educational and life opportunities of underprivileged children. Since its inception, the foundation has annually awarded eight four-year scholarships through the Q81 Foundation Scholarship Fund. In 2011, the foundation established the Annual Q81 Summer Enrichment Program, an 8-week program designed for students who need courses to catch up academically.
In 2014, the three-time Pro Bowl selection and his wife, Dionne, donated a $1 million dollar endowment to the Q81 Foundation for continued distribution of college scholarships. That same year, the NFLPA awarded Boldin and his foundation $100,000 for winning the prestigious Byron "Whizzer" White award. Boldin's foundation was also awarded $25,000, when he was named a 2015 Sports Humanitarian of the Year Award finalist, the only NFL player to be acknowledged.
Furthermore, the 13-year veteran recruits fellow NFL players and celebrities to participate in the annual Q-Festival, a weekend of free entertainment provided to residents and participating fans in his Florida hometown of Palm Beach County, raising more than $100,000 annually. Other seasonal services provided through the foundation include Thanksgiving giveaways, holiday shopping sprees and back-to-school donations.
Boldin's philanthropic endeavors have also had a global impact. Since 2010, Boldin has worked with Oxfam America, taking two overseas trips to Ethiopia and Senegal and later using his testimony at the White House to lobby Senegalese rights. He initially provided over $10,000 in funding to minimize the devastation caused by the drought and hunger crisis in Ethiopia. He additionally volunteered for countless hours in Ethiopian communities and participated in public service announcements to raise awareness. After a second trip to Africa, Anquan testified as an Oxfam Ambassador before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs regarding the gold mining industry.
n 2010, Anquan became the honorary chair of the United Way Central Maryland's Emerging Leaders United program. He has used his strong public speaking skills to share United Way's messaging and to influence other young executives to advocate for volunteerism in Maryland, Northern California and beyond. Anquan has also dedicated countless hours towards his NFL team activities each year. Most recently, he has supported the Community Monday program at the 49ers by participating in the Turning Wheels for Kids Bike Build - helping to build 150 bikes for foster youth and making the holidays brighter for under resourced youth through the 49ers Visa Shop with a Player program and more.