Thomas Morstead’s nonprofit to give flood of Vikings fans’ donations to Minnesota program
MINNESOTA — Thomas Morstead and his foundation, What You Give Will Grow, announced today that donations received this week from Minnesota Vikings fans will be donated to the Children’s Minnesota Child Life Program as a thank you for the support following the New Orleans Saints’ loss in the NFL Divisional match-up with the Vikings.
Following Minnesota’s game-winning touchdown with no time left on the clock in the NFL Divisional match-up between the Vikings and the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, Jan. 14, Saints Punter Thomas Morstead was the first Saints player to come back out on to the field to defend the NFL-mandated conversion.
Morstead suffered torn cartilage on the right side of his ribs during the game, but continued playing.
Following the game, a Vikings fan published a post on Reddit encouraging fellow fans to donate to What You Give Will Grow in honor of Morstead’s effort in the game, particularly the sportsmanship demonstrated as he came back out for the extra point.
As of Tuesday morning, more than $3,100 had been raised by more than 250 fans.
“What You Give Will Grow was built on the thought that giving back, at any level, makes a difference not only to those receiving the gesture, but in regards to inspiring others to do the same,” said Morstead. “It’s humbling to have fans from an opposing team doing something like this – it just shows that football is more than a game and it really is a community. Minnesota fans had no idea when they made donations that it would come back to their own community – but what you give does really grow and we’re honored to be able to support the child life program at Children’s Minnesota – this is what our foundation is all about.”
Morstead chose the child life program at Children’s Minnesota as the support of child life specialists is one of the focuses of What You Give Will Grow. Child life programs provide emotional support for children and families, as well as the coordinating of activities at their respective facilities – working hard to find creative ways to bring joy to kids in the hospital.
To date, the organization has given well over $2.5 million to a wide range of causes and gotten thousands of people involved along the way.
Child life professionals at Children’s Minnesota work closely with children to help understand their health care and minimize stress through education, medical play, relaxation, mental imagery, and special events and activities.
Started in 2012 by New Orleans Saints punter Thomas Morstead and his wife, Lauren, What You Give Will Grow supports causes, organizations, small businesses, artists and musicians in the Gulf South Region. In its first three years, What You Give Will Grow has provided over $2.5 million in support for local programs, organizations and initiatives.
Having fallen in love with the City of New Orleans, Morstead aims to help those who have supported him as What You Give Will Grow will give back to the communities of the Gulf South, with a special focus on providing care and support to cancer patients as well as children’s cancer initiatives. What You Give Will Grow hopes to inspire action behind the idea that giving back, at any level, makes a difference not only to those receiving kind actions, but to inspire others to give.