NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - Here’s a heartwarming story about Saints punter Thomas Morstead. It’s an exclusive you’ll only see on WGNO. The Saint has built a reputation for giving back to the community and being involved in a lot of charitable causes. At the Freret Street Festival, Morstead’s wife and close friends gave him the surprise of a lifetime. WGNO reporter Deepak Saini was there to catch his emotional reaction.
Thomas Morstead is one of the top punters in the NFL. Fans adore him, not just for his skills on the field, but for his commitment to the community. How do you thank someone who’s given so much of himself to improve the lives of others?
Thomas Morstead’s wife, Lauren says, “He has no clue. It’s going to be awesome!”
Morstead thought he was going on stage at the Freret Street Festival to promote his new non-profit.
“I just wanted to talk a little bit about what the foundation is. It’s called “What You Give Will Grow.”
But Morstead’s wife and good friends had a few surprises up their sleeves.
“It’s so hard to surprise him with anything, so it’s going to be really exciting, and I can’t wait to see how he reacts to everything,” says Lauren.
Friend Dennis Lomonaco says, “I wanted to Thank Tom by showing him what he’s done for our community. And we have a few people here that we actually have to help show him that.”
Right, around the stage, another surprise waits.
Morstead says, “Then I saw him and I kind of lost it. It’s a big deal for him to make a trek somewhere especially with the rain. He brought Rivers and Michel and the whole crew.”
Even in the pouring rain, Steve Gleason wanted to show Morstead how much he loves him. But one surprise he never expected…
Morstead says, “Oh my God!”
That’s the wife of Morstead’s college football coach at SMU, Frank Gansz. The day after Morstead got drafted to the Saints, his beloved coach passed away. The coach would often tell him, “What You Give Will Grow.” That’s become the namesake for Morstead’s foundation, encouraging others to pay it forward. He’s leading by example. In the Fall of 2013, Madi was suffering from Pediatric Cancer and desperately needed a bone marrow transplant. Morstead raised tens of thousands of dollars to get her treatment. In a room filled with so much love, you can definitely see that making a difference comes full circle.
To learn about Thomas Morstead’s foundation, visit: www.whatyougivewillgrow.com