Tank Tyler gives back to hometown
Morgan Cornwell says professional athletes are tough, but they have a soft side, too.
DeMarcus “Tank” Tyler, a defensive tackle for the Kansas City Chiefs, proved her right Wednesday.
Cornwell is associate director for Feed the Children, a nonprofit, international, Christian relief organization.
Tyler — a graduate of E.E. Smith High School— participated in a Feed the Children event at Peace Memorial Christian Church on Cumberland Street.
Tyler said when he learned about the organization and its work, he was amazed and inspired to help.
“I am blessed. God has blessed me,” he said. “Doing this keeps me grounded. I can’t forget where I came from. And I want the people to know they are still on my mind, let them know they are important.”
He and teammate Turk McBride attended a similar event Tuesday in Camden, N.J.
McBride said the majority of people there might not know what, or if, they will eat each night.
“It brought great joy to my heart to be able to assist in this way,” McBride said. “And we are so blessed to be in a position, at such a young age, to give back.”
Smith football coach Haney Catchings said Tyler always had good work habits.
“He always used to tell the other guys, ‘You can do this, or you can do that,’” Catchings said. “He always wanted to give positive encouragement, and I would never expect any less from him.”
The E.E. Smith football team also attended the event, including seniors Michael Colbert, Austin Bowden, Kevin Miller and Nicholas Adams. Several said they already participate in community service projects.
“I do community service all the time,” Colbert said. “Helping someone in need, it feels great.”
Bowden said he has helped hand out books to children at a church.
“I also do a lot of volunteer work around the neighborhood, like cutting grass for the elderly,’’ he said. “It just makes me feel like I’m doing something good.”
Miller said he likes working with children and has volunteered with the Boys & Girls Club. He was happy to be a part of things Wednesday.
“It’s amazing,” Miller said. “It has made me feel great to see someone (like Tyler) who made it big, come back — and to see all the people with smiles on their faces.”
“What we are doing today, it keeps you humble,” he said.