Ravens cornerback Brandon Carr has launched 172 regular series games, the longest for any defender of the NFL. But as reliable as he is in the field, he is as reliable as a helping hand in the community.
Carr was nominated by Walter Payton for the Raven Ravens for 2018. It's the second time he has been nominated for the award, the last time in Dallas in 2015.
Carr has taken many reasons, including child literacy, breast cancer, social justice, and support for underserved adolescents. And when he accepted the Ravens Prize, which goes to a charity of his own choosing with a $ 25,000 donation and another $ 25,000 to United Way in Baltimore, Carr somehow suffocates.
"Man, I'm trying to calm down now," Carr said. "To be honest, I just feel blessed that I can play this game, have this platform, but also have the opportunity to build or do something I enjoy doing, and that's just in the community."  Children's literacy has always been high on Carr's list. The Carr Cares Foundation was founded in 2012 to help young students qualify as readers by providing learning tools and resources to help them reach their full potential. In addition to the Carr-Cares literacy initiatives, the foundation also encourages students to provide a healthy lifestyle through physical fitness and a balanced diet.
This season, Carr has expanded its educational support with the Carr Leses Buddy program. This new program provides mentoring services for second and third-tier combatant readers by combining them with mentors from students. High school students are provided with the necessary tools to build positive individual teaching relationships with elementary school students and to encourage them to appreciate literacy programs and activities both inside and outside the school environment.
The participating high school students qualify for college scholarships through the Carr Cares Foundation. The Carr Cares Reading Buddy program currently exists in eight schools between Texas, Michigan and Maryland and will add two more this fall. On average, the program provides up to 364 hours of mentoring for high risk students per school.
Earlier this year Carr filled the Ravens bookmobile with books to bring children to underserved areas of Baltimore. He has made countless trips to schools to read to children, and provided nuggets of wisdom to older children.
Carr said he got it from his parents. His father was a coach and mentor who brought his son and classmates to universities to show them they could do it. His mother was a teacher for 33 years.
"My ultimate goal when my mother passed away was only to continue living her inheritance," Carr said. "And their heritage was just being in education, being with the children in schools, inspiring them, and encouraging them in every possible way."
In 2014 Carr lost his mother in a long fight against cancer. Since then, he has also been involved in the education of breast cancer and the fight against the disease.
Carr has recently teamed with the National Breast Cancer Foundation to support breast cancer patients recently at the Franklin Square Medical Center. He assembled Hope Kits and distributed them. These contained items intended to comfort the patient, and provided 24 women with tailor-made wigs. In October, he spent the evening at M & T Bank Stadium, surrounded by survivors and women battling breast cancer on the occasion of the Ravens Fourth Annual Sip & # 39; N Paint Events.
"It was a bit of a whirlwind, but I had a strong support system behind me," Carr said. "After all, that was what it was all about, and the same support system I needed to deal with breast cancer and the disease in our family is the same comfort and support that these women need."
Carr also continuously reaches the communities that most need help. A native of Flint, the water crisis for Carr came home. In 2016, Carr donated $ 100,000 for the establishment of the Car Cares Fund for Flint and another $ 10,000 for the Safe Water Safe Homes Fund, which helps with infrastructure issues.
Last September, Carr spoke with students from the first Flock Above Mentoring program of Raven's inaugural event. Carr spent hours talking to group ninth-graders about his personal journey and the various challenges he had faced over the years. He encouraged the students to help make their church a better place and be a positive role model for others.
This Thanksgiving, Carr, participated in Pack to Give Back, an event that helps pack more than 300 volunteer holiday meals for more than 10,000 families. For the second year in a row, Carr is partnering with Ravens to host the 14th annual Holiday Helpers shopping event, which will invite 60 disadvantaged Baltimore children to holiday in Target.
"It has been talked about before, he is now the 'Iron Man' with his 172 starts in a row, but he is also the 'Iron Man' in the community," said Wink Martindale, Defense Coordinator of Ravens.
"The same type we get here, the plays produced for us and we can always rely on that, he is as a person, I think everyone in this organization sees that, what a great honor he has the appointment for this award and what a great award. "