THOMASVILLE, N.C. — Former App State linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither always wanted to play in the NFL.
“You’re always told that it’s a rare occasion," said Akeem Davis-Gaither, who is a linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals from Thomasville.
The Thomasville native also wanted to be able to give back. His mom, Mona, set an example of that.
“She would do a bookbag drive, so I was always around my parents giving back to the people that maybe need that," said Davis-Gaither.
This year, he's achieved on goal. He made it into the NFL and plays for the Cincinnati Bengals.
“To be able to achieve that, especially for my family, is a huge blessing and opportunity," said Davis-Gaither.
Now it's time to accomplish the other side of that, giving back.
“When I had the opportunity to do that, I definitely wanted to do that," said Davis-Gaither.
Akeem started his first Children's Coat Drive. It's for school aged kids up to seniors in high school.
“It’s a great feeling to be able to help some families especially with Covid-19 going on, people losing jobs, to help them with something that maybe they wouldn’t have gotten his Christmas," said Davis-Gaither.
He hopes to help kids in Thomasville, the place he calls home.
"It means a lot to me," said Davis-Gaither. "I lived there my whole life. I almost know everybody besides the kids growing up now. Hopefully I can change that by doing more community stuff like this."
Davis-Gaither is collecting coats until January 1st. He plans to hand them out on January 10 at the Thomasville Police Department.
If you'd like to help him out, he has 3 drop off locations:
Emmanuel Baptist Church: 204 Turner St. Thomasville, NC
First Presbyterian Church: 21 Randolph St. Thomasville, NC
Rich Fork Church: 3993 Old Hwy 29 Thomasville, NC
Other ways to donate:
Cash contributions accepted on the Cashapp $ADGCoatDrive
Shipping address: 409 E Davidson St. Thomasville, NC 27360