Frank Clark is encouraging teammates, 12s, and the Seattle community to give back to a very personal cause this holiday season, as he teams up with Union Gospel Mission to inspire individuals to help the city's homeless community.
"I'm partnering with Seattle's Union Gospel Mission because I believe in their mission, period," Clark said of the non-profit whose goal is to inspire hope and bring healing to those in need. "I believe everything they're doing for the homeless is for the right reason. I believe the non-profit work that they do is great; it's things that I plan to do in the future, things that I want to partner with and work with. If I can do that, I know I can be helping out with the cause."
As the Seahawks ready for their Week 12 road matchup with the Carolina Panthers, Clark and several of his Seattle teammates volunteered their time at UGM Tuesday evening to support the ladies and families of Hope Place, a women's shelter run by UGM. Clark and fellow defensive linemen Nazair Jones and Poona Ford, as well as tight end Ed Dickson and receiver Malik Turner helped serve a four-course meal provided by Seattle chef Ethan Stowell to those on hand.
"I'm passionate about those living on the streets, and their children, because I was there once," explained Clark, who experienced a run of homelessness first hand starting at the young age of six. "It's not a great feeling. I was homeless for a period of about three to four years, on and off, in the city of Los Angeles, California, where I grew up. Those cold nights in the winter, even in the summer, those foodless nights aren't good things. Those aren't good places to be in."
Through his partnership with UGM, Clark is hoping to inspire Seattleites to #GiveYourBest any way they can, whether it be by donating clothes or giving a financial gift instead. Clark said he'll be going through his own wardrobe — a very unique wardrobe at that — and selecting items to give back to those in need.
"I challenge my teammates, the 12s, and the rest of the Seattle community to do the same," he said. "We're not bringing an end to the homeless crisis in Seattle, but we are shedding a little bit of light on it."
The announcement from Clark is the latest in what has been an ongoing commitment to help the Seattle homeless community by the Seahawks defensive end. This past April, Clark was at the forefront sharing his story as the Seahawks Players Equality & Justice For All Action Fund partnered with Pearl Jam to help combat the homeless crisis. The rock band with local roots used its home shows at Seattle's Safeco Field as a platform to help alleviate homelessness in King County, with local businesses, foundations and fans joining the cause. That group included the Seahawks Players Action Fund as well as Paul Allen's Vulcan, Inc., with more than $11 million being raised for homeless initiatives in Seattle as a result of the Pearl Jam-led effort.
Seahawks players Frank Clark, Ed Dickson, Poona Ford, Nazair Jones, and Malik Turner visited Seattle's Union Gospel Mission on Tuesday, November 20, 2018 to help serve four-course meals provided by Seattle chef Ethan Stowell to the ladies and families of Hope Place, a women's shelter run by UGM. The Hope Place ladies were also treated to a free Pro Shop shopping spree, received new 70" televisions to watch Seahawks games, and enjoyed a night of dance in the cafeteria. Clark, who experienced homelessness as a child, has teamed up with UGM this holiday season through his #GiveYourBest campaign encouraging Seattleites to support the King County homeless community through avenues such as clothing donations, or financial gifts.