Seahawks fans already know that free safety Earl Thomas is a difference-maker on the field. But not everyone is aware of his off-the-field efforts to make a difference in the Seattle community.
Earlier this month, Thomas learned of a need for blankets at Seattle's Union Gospel Mission, which distributes warmth nightly to the darkest – and coldest – corners of the city.
"Our shelves were empty for the first time in a really long time," said Stefanie Krach, events specialist for UGM. "We go out every night of the week in vans to give to those who can't come into our shelter to receive services. … There are so many people on the streets who are cold. A warm, dry blanket is huge in that circumstance."
Thomas responded by donating $15,000 to provide more than 3,000 specialized wool rescue blankets to the cause via his Earl Thomas III Guardian Angel Foundation. Established in 2013, the nonprofit seeks to provide resources and assistance to children and families in need.
"My family lost everything after Hurricane Rita, so I know what it's like to go without," said Thomas, who was in high school when the hurricane blew through his hometown of Orange, Texas, in 2005. "That's why it's so important to me to give back to others and to help those who are less fortunate get back on their feet."
Not surprisingly, Thomas wasn't satisfied with good enough and pushed to make his donation go farther. Together with the Mission, he challenged the community to raise another $15,000 – and they did.
"The 12s and our donors came out, and they fully matched the donation," Krach said. "And that means $30,000 total toward blankets and winter survival items here on the streets of Seattle. This was a wonderful way to fill a need."
Seahawks FS Earl Thomas hosted 175 guests and teammates at his annual fundraiser, Steaks & Seahawks on Monday Night. The event raised more than $155,000, benefiting Thomas' Guardian Angel Foundation which aims to provide resources and assistance to underprivileged youth and their families.