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Hodges hosts dinner for homeless

Posted Dec 20, 2012

CLEVELAND -- Browns punter Reggie Hodges held a dinner for homeless men at the Legends Club at Cleveland Browns Stadium on Wednesday.

CLEVELAND -- When punter Reggie Hodges joined the Cleveland Browns back in 2009, he made a commitment not only to help the special teams’ unit, but also, make a difference in the Cleveland community.

Hodges, who was named the team’s Ed Block Courage Award winner earlier this month for his commitment to the team and Cleveland community, continued to support those less fortunate by hosting a holiday dinner for 50 individuals from the Men’s Homeless Shelter in Cleveland at the Legends Club at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

“This is an event for guys who have been in and out of homeless shelters,” Hodges said. “We just wanted to share the love of Christ with them. Our heart behind this was to show them some love, show them that people haven’t forgotten them and that they deserve a good time too.”

The Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry started the Men’s Homeless Shelter program in 2005 and is the largest shelter in Ohio. Annually, more than 3,900 men are aided by the shelter’s efforts.

The program’s mission is to provide emergency shelter, support services and solutions for the homeless. Through community volunteers, residents and staff who were previously homeless, the shelter aims to help people obtain self-sufficiency.

“The Christian’s life is about blessing others,” Hodges said. “It’s not about ourselves. Anytime we get to give back or do something nice for someone else, it goes a long way.”

Hodges was not alone in his efforts to support the homeless.

Tight end Benjamin Watson, linebacker Emmanuel Acho, wide receiver Jordan Norwood and defensive back Usama Young attended the dinner and spread holiday cheer to those at the stadium.

“I was all for it,” Young said of helping out. “I’ve never heard of anyone doing something like this. It’s very unique and I like it. Growing up, I used to go out to the shelters and feed them and help out, but to actually have a nice banquet, this is great. Seeing their faces and how much it means to them is amazing.

“Reggie’s a great teammate that turned into a great friend. He’s one of those guys that’s always doing something positive. He stepped outside of his comfort zone to do this. He was just like, ‘Man, something’s calling me.’ He sent me a text of the scripture, Luke: 14. It was talking about not just creating something for wealthy people, but creating something for people who don’t have everything and how much enjoyment they get out of it.”