Vikings LB E.J. Henderson has a tremendous impact on the field each Sunday. But he also makes a difference in the local community, namely through his E.J. Henderson Youth Foundation.
Those 2 elements of Henderson’s life will merge in 2009. Henderson has made a commitment to pledge $100 for every tackle he makes during the 2009 season to his youth foundation.
“It is great to be back playing football,” Henderson said. “This is one way I can share my passion with the kids.”
Since the summer of 2007, Henderson has been working through the E.J. Henderson Youth Foundation to change the lives of youth growing up in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Twice a week, various groups of youth spend time at the Foundation in a 90-minute session that includes: an online academic program specifically tailored to each student; participation in a life skills program designed to develop character through lessons on responsibility, determination, perseverance and related topics; and a rigorous fitness session.
Henderson views his work in the community as addressing an opportunity, not a problem.
“Most people look at the plight of inner city youth as a problem,” Henderson said. “The E.J. Henderson Youth Foundation views this as an opportunity.”
Henderson, who has averaged nearly 100 tackles per season throughout his career despite missing 12 games due to injury in 2009, led the team with 9 tackles in last Sunday’s season-opening win at Cleveland. He’ll have a chance to add to his pledge this Sunday when the Vikings travel to Detroit to take on the Lions.
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