It didn’t take long for rising-senior defensive back Elijah Hicks to know what to do after spring football was cancelled. It was less than two days before he and his teammates found their way to a partnership with No Kid Hungry to help out those in need during the COVID-19 crisis.
In these times, we have to come together. @ELITHEMAN1 and his friends from @CalFootball, @oregonfootball, @Utah_Football, @UW_Football and @NDFootball are asking you to help low-income families.— Cal Football (@CalFootball) March 19, 2020
DONATE: https://t.co/ecUO96aNHT pic.twitter.com/6XtrP4T4td
Hicks and his own non-profit, Intercept Poverty, have taken their talents to a partnership with No Kid Hungry to help raise money for low-income families during the coronavirus pandemic. Hicks recently spoke with CalBears.com on what drove him to the idea.
“When this came out and I saw all the schools shutting down, I knew there would be a lot of struggling parents out there that all of the sudden had to stay home and wouldn’t have time to prepare for it,” Hicks said. “A lot of people wouldn’t get paid sick leave and would have to file for unemployment. With all the chaos going on in the world, at least we can find a way to have a positive impact on someone’s life. I’m just glad during this crazy time that we can help some families out.”
It’s not just he who has gotten involved either as Hicks has also solicited the help of current and former teammates, opponents and non-opponents alike to help him out. Current Cal Bear, and Hicks’ roommate Camryn Bynum as well as former teammate and NFL hopeful Ashtyn Davis joined in the cause with taped messages asking the public for assistance with the mission.
Bynum also spoke with CalBears.com on how it came about from Hicks.
“He came downstairs and said, ‘I need you to make a video real quick’,” Bynum said. “Whenever he comes up with ideas, he pops out of his room and talks to me about it. I expect stuff like this from him at this point. He’s brainstormed so many different ideas. He just wants to find a way to help people.”
Bynum, Davis and Hicks represent just a handful of names who have helped out but it’s not just Cal Bears doing their part. Notre Dame WR Chase Claypool has joined in on the cause as well as other Pac-12 defensive backs in Jevon Holland from Oregon, Terrell Burgess from Utah and Myles Bryant and Keith Taylor from Washington.
Jessica Bomberg stated how impressed she was with Hicks’ ability to rally his athletic community during this time of need. The Associate Director of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising at No Kid Hungry said it will have a big impact.
“We’re very impressed by Elijah and his athletic community coming together to raise their voices and stand up for kids,” Bomberg said. “They’re helping to prove that when we come together, we can make a bigger impact. Young heroes like Elijah give us hope for a future where no kid is hungry.”
All the donations received through Hicks’ campaign will go directly to No Kid Hungry and their mission to end childhood hunger across the United States.
“We’re so inspired by Elijah’s willingness to get involved and help kids,” Bomberg continued. “We believe that everyone has a strength to share and can do their part to make a big impact in their own community and nationwide. Elijah is a great example of that.”
Utilizing his platform as a student-athlete at Cal is one thing that Hicks said was a main factor in this decision and the fact that it directly correlates with his own nonprofit’s mission made it a seamless transition. Intercept Poverty aids college students in need and Hicks also volunteers at the Basic Needs Center on campus.
“I understand the platform student-athletes have,” Hicks said. “What better way to get some teammates and fellow players around the Pac who I respect to come together for a certain cause and do this for low-income families. I thought it would be pretty powerful.”
They’ve already surpassed Hicks’ early goal of $10,000 and as of Wednesday morning, sit at $14,750 dollars. They’ve got their eyes set on at least $20,000 — Let’s Go!
To make a donation — go here.
You’re an inspiration for us all, Elijah. Thank you.