Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

    LeRon McClain to travel country for Tuscaloosa Relief

    Many have said last week’s tornado in Tuscaloosa happened for a reason, like everything else does.

    For former Alabama football star LeRon McClain, there is a reason for the current NFL lockout – to aid victims of last week’s tornado.

    A week after narrowly avoiding the EF-5 tornado in his Midtown Village Condominium, the two-time NFL Pro Bowler began his first of many Tuscaloosa Relief events.

    “I wouldn’t have even been down here in [the tornado] if it weren’t for the lockout,” McClain said. “[My teammates] want to put smiles on these peoples’ faces and tell them that everything will be ok. It’s just a minor setback for a major comeback.”

    McClain’s plan: For those who can’t make a trip to the affected areas, he’ll go to them. McClain, his manager Walik Gibson and many other professional athletes partnering up with Tuscaloosa Relief will travel to cities around the country to pick up donations for Tuscaloosa and bring them back to the city.

    “It’s something we want to do different,” McClain said. “We’re just trying to take it out of Tuscaloosa – hit these surrounding cities in Alabama and really try to go nationwide with it.”

    Tuscaloosa Relief was in Montgomery Wednesday and has events set up in Baltimore, where McClain is a fullback for the Baltimore Ravens, on Friday and Tuesday. According to Gibson, his group had already filled two 18-wheeler trucks full of donations from Montgomery by 2 p.m. Wednesday.

    “We just want to make a difference,” McClain said. “If there was a frown on your face and it makes you smile, that’s making a difference. Putting food on your table and clothes on your back – we’re just trying to make a difference.”

    Many high-profile athletes have jumped on board with McClain’s efforts, including teammates Michael Oher and Ray Rice, Minnesota Vikings cornerback Frank Walker, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley, former Alabama and current Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Javier Arenas and many more. New York Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony is letting Tuscaloosa Relief host an event on Tuesday at his activity center in Baltimore.

    “A lot of [my] teammates are sending half of their shoe contact money straight to our door,” McClain said.

    With loads of support from prominent athletes and an already successful first event in Montgomery, Tuscaloosa Relief already looks to play a major part in the rebuilding of Tuscaloosa.

    “We know we can’t bring back houses, we know we can’t bring back lives,” McClain said. “But I know we can make a difference.”


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