Public perception of NFL couples is that they are weak unions detached from hardships within their communities. In reality, countless couples in the NFL are intelligent, inspiring and invested in philanthropy. For my fiancé Coty Sensabaugh -- defensive back for the Tennessee Titans -- and I, the NFL is a conduit to positively reach and impact the masses.
Serving on Our Special Day
We chose to use our wedding day as a platform to spread love in a unique way.
In lieu of traditional wedding gifts, we are asking our friends and family to help us raise awareness, funds, and shoes for the #SensabaughMissionMoon. The event will take place June 23rd-June 27th, 2016, in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.
We are partnering with the global non-profit organization Soles4Souls to provide shoes to adults and children in orphanages and other rural areas throughout the country. Since 2006, Soles4souls has collected and distributed over 26 million pairs of new shoes in every state in the U.S. and in 127 countries around the world.
More than a third of the Dominican Republic population lives on less than $1.25 a day and over 20 percent of the country lives in extreme poverty.
We Are Not Alone
Coty and I understand that we have the opportunity to positively impact hundreds of lives through the NFL platform. Our constant prayer is to use what we have been blessed with to fortify our community, and we model ourselves after our peers who are doing the same.
Many NFL couples are not only actively serving their respective communities, it is the women in these relationships that are the driving force behind the philanthropic efforts of their spouses.
Take a look at NFL couple Fernando and Tiesha Velasco, both of whom are avid forces within their communities using their Right Choices Foundation to connect middle and high school athletes with opportunities to enhance their character development through athletics.
Powerhouse NFL couple Brandon and Michi Marshall are another example. They use the NFL platform to fight the negative stigmas associated with mental illness. These two raise awareness and connect those who are suffering with the proper resources.
There are countless others on the list of influential NFL couples and the positive impact they have is powerful. What's unfortunate is that these benevolent efforts are often ignored by the media in lieu of negative stories of infidelity and domestic violence.
Let's Start A New Legacy
Instead of helping spread the word of negativity within the NFL, let's make a point to share the good things couples are doing. Many are forming partnerships with organizations like the American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen Foundation, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and Georgetown Lombari Comprehensive Cancer Center to make a positive impact in the community.
So the next time you encounter an NFL couple giving back in a positive manner, encourage and uplift their efforts. The impact we possess within our communities as NFL couples to do great work, far exceeds the role that our significant others play on Sunday.