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Ambry Thomas gives back

Coming off a rookie year that ended on a high note, Thomas has decided to use his first NFL offseason to make a humanitarian trip.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Ambry Thomas spent his rookie season in the NFL acclimating to the skill level of the wide receivers now lining up against him. His transition, especially after opting out of collegiate ball at Michigan due to COVID concerns, was what some could politely call… Bumpy.

He drew the short straw of possible injury replacements and made his first start against the Cincinnati Bengals and their dangerous set of offensive weapons in Week 14, resulting in three catches on four targets for 81 yards, a touchdown, and two penalties. Things didn’t quite improve against the Falcons, who picked on him to the tune of four catches, 95 yards, and a TD.

Finally, a switch seemed to flip, the rust having been effectively shaken, and down the stretch, Thomas became a valuable member of the secondary. He broke up two passes in Tennessee and allowed a mere 41 yards over the final two games combined.

Most importantly, Thomas intercepted Matt Stafford in overtime to end the game and officially punch the Niners' ticket to the postseason. The video/audio of SoFi’s overwhelming, celebratory reaction became an instantly iconic moment of the 2021 season. The feisty player that Adam Peters banged the drum for during the draft arrived, and his future in San Francisco as an effective outside corner seemed to come into focus.

Now, a man best known and loved for taking away a football is using a chunk of his first NFL offseason to give back. Thomas posted across his social media platforms that he’s recently traveled to a small village in the Somalilands that’s suffering through the worst drought crisis in a decade. This terrible reality has left millions hungry and scrambling in search of water and food.

Showing just how desperate the situation has gotten, Thomas explains that the village he’s in has not had rain in nine months and grabs a handful of the frustratingly dry soil. This problem is where the humanitarians step up to provide an answer. They’re driving hours across the unforgiving landscape to deliver canteens that will provide up to 30 days of water for an entire family.

Thomas has joined the effort spearheaded by the nonprofit organizations Mercy-USA and Muslims of the World. These groups point to two important facets of what shaped Ambry Thomas into the man he is today. Mercy-USA is Michigan-based, where Thomas was born, raised, and attended college.

Muslims of the World began as a space for Muslims to share their personal stories to change the narrative of what it means to be a follower of Islam. They were an immediate success and decided to use their platform for fundraising and providing aid.

Thomas has spoken about how important his faith was in returning from a bout of colitis leading up to his junior year that threatened to end his season. He managed to regain his strength and return to the field faster than anyone could have anticipated.

His post concludes with an appeal for a donation that will save lives. For 50 dollars, you can personally secure a canteen of water that can ensure a family will not go thirsty for a full month. Ambry Thomas offers to match anyone who gives and signs off with the simple message of “Let’s change the world.”

If you’re so moved, you can find the link to donate in Ambry Thomas’ Instagram and Twitter profile bios. Here’s the link.