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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – Rudy Ford is gearing up for another season in the NFL, but the New Hope High School graduate is also taking this time to give back to the community where he grew up.

The former Auburn football standout and safety for the Philadelphia Eagles heard about the need for meals in his community during the COVID-19 pandemic and decided to step up.

Ford donated $10,000 to Wears Chapel Baptist Church. The money will go towards providing food packages and hot meals to students and the elderly in the area. Ford helped hand out meals to those in need Friday.

“For somebody to come back and say ‘Hey, I wanna give back to our community, the place that really helped me develop as a person and as an individual. I wanna give back that,’ is just huge,” said Wears Chapel Pastor Tim Payne. “I love the way that God has just put everybody together. It’s been an amazing God story how it’s all worked out and I’m so excited that somebody that’s an NFL player was able to come and give back to our community and that’s just awesome. It’s awesome for our kids, it’s awesome for our adults and those in our community who just needed extra help during this crisis time.”

Ford said being able to come back to where he’s is from is a blessing and he’s thankful to have the platform to do so. He added times like this have taught him what he does off the field is more important than what he does on the field. He said he’s grateful to help the community that has blessed him throughout his life and molded him into the person he is today.

“It’s very important, and I think, just in a time like right now, it’s very important just to shed light on just how important positivity is to people during uncertain times,” Ford said.

If you’d like to donate and help provide for families in need, visit the Wears Chapel website and click on the give tab.