The 2016-17 season hasn’t turned out the way many Cardinal fans had hoped. With a few injuries and a little misfortunate the number of wins aren’t at the level many had anticipated. While the team may have challenges on the field it hasn’t stopped them from being winners.
One player that stands out as a true champion is Gabe Martin.
Many are unaware but during the off-season Gabe was preparing for battles on the field but was also helping people overcome challenges they were facing.
Gabe saw a specific need to help out those in Flint.
“Me and one of my good friends Tony Jones, partnered with BrandB Sports and DirectlyTo to help install water filtration units in Flint,” the Michigan native said.
Martin candidly talked about the most impactful moment during the water filtration project and how he enjoyed being able to meet the people he was helping.
“When we went to Gloria’s Little Angels, the day care where we installed the first water filtration unit, it was a great moment. Just actually getting to sit down with the kids too, and talk to them and play with them. I collected like a ton of their autograph’s, it was just cool to like hang out with them.”
While this was the first big project Martin helped with, he explained giving back has been apart of his life for as long as he can remember. He talked about celebrity summer camps he attended as a child that inspired him to want to help his community when he grew up. Though a small action on a big scale, the football and basketball camps showed him no matter how little or big your give back is, as long as it’s helping at least one person it’s all worth it.
“Back in college I would do different things,” Martin explained when asked when he really started his community outreach. “Like [I would] speak to high schools, go back to my own high school and speak to the kids. I’ve always tried to be involved in the community, whether it be something like MLK day of service or anything like that.”
Now that the former Bowling Green standout is in the NFL he feels it’s a critical responsibility to give back and show gratitude to his communities.
“Oh most definitely, now that I have a bigger platform it’s more important. Because at the end of the day, I have kids looking up to me. So whenever I get the opportunity to set a good example for them I do. I would be wrong if I didn’t do so.”
He continued, “I will always try to be involved in the community. It’s always been a big deal to my family so it’s naturally a big deal to me.”
Martin plans to continue to give back in any way he can and is looking to start his foundation once the season is over.
“Off the field, [my biggest goal is] establishing a foundation. It’s something I really want to do so it’s going to be awesome once I follow through with it.”
Though he’s still in the brainstorming phase of figuring out what he wants his foundation to stand for, he plans to get some help along the way from teammates and community relation’s personnel so he can have a non-profit organization by the end of 2017.
“Anything I do I want it to help the generation under me. So whatever it is that I establish my foundation for, I want it to be geared toward the children and helping them succeed. That’s my goal within the next year I want to go ahead and start my own foundation.”
On the field Gabe has had a few setbacks with injuries but we know that will not slow him down. We wish Gabe success on and off the field.