The First and Ten Coin Toss Captain is a once in a lifetime opportunity that the Browns offer to fans who go above and beyond to #give10, help their community. The chance to be recognized on field for the positive impact and dedication individuals have in their communities has been an incredible way to inspire others and share the message of First and Ten. Fans had the opportunity to share their stories on our website, Twitter and Instagram using #give10. The winner of the challenge was Ella Waldspurger
Ella joined the First and Ten movement because she has always wanted to help people since she was a young girl. After seeing the devastating news about Hurricane Katrina, she immediately jumped into action by taking all of the money she had in her piggy bank to buy toys for the children who lost all of their possessions in the water. Even in her efforts then, raising $11, she had a giving mentality and wanted to make a difference in the lives of others.
She continues to give back today because she was raised seeing her parents volunteer and give to the community anonymously, so she followed in their footsteps. She also loves to see the smile on others faces when they receive something that she had a part in providing.
Her family is closely knit, so both her mom and dad have inspired her in countless ways, but Cleveland Browns player, Johnson Bademosi has also been a positive role model. Ella began to follow him on the Browns' website and noticed that he attended every community event and volunteered at every possible opportunity. While she thought Johnson was an exciting football player to watch, she enjoyed watching him serve others more. Two years ago Ella had the chance to meet him and has connected with him at each Browns event since.
One of Ella's favorite ways to #give10 is packing sack lunches for the local homeless shelter. Knowing that hundreds of people will have a nutritious meal that she helped provide brings her joy. Ella believes that one meal could be the highlight of their day, and a necessity that everyone should have.
Ella and her best friend also greet the Veterans returning home on the Honor Flight. The veterans were so happy to see everyone awaiting them in the terminal as they walked on American soil. Ella remembers the smiles and the stories they shared. After participating once, she was hooked and asked her dad if they could attend every time there was a flight so she could cheer and talk to them. She and her best friend make signs while they wait.
During the summer, she also gives back in various ways including raising money for youth development and volunteering at a home for adults with disabilities. Ella's mom serves on the board of their local YMCA and every year they raise money to send kids to summer camp. She went to camp and made such positive memories. As a way to give back, she began an online giving campaign called "The Dollar Difference." She asked people to donate $1 toward the cause. Since it's only $1 anyone can help. She raised $500 during the first year and just over $800 this year. Next year she hopes to raise at least $1,000. She wants every child to have the opportunity to experience camp and make memories that will stay with them forever. Camp is a way for them to leave their hardships behind and focus on just "being a kid."
This summer Ella also volunteered with a group of people every Wednesday. They played games with the residents, cooked and helped them plant a garden. She also stays late after school one day a week with friends to do art projects, which raise money for various local causes.
Ella is so civic-minded that she wants to eventually take her efforts overseas. As a freshman in high school she hopes to join clubs that she can contribute to as well as travel out of the country on a mission trip. As a soccer player, she's always dreamed of taking a bag of soccer balls that we might take for granted here to kids around the world who may not have a ball to play with.
Ella is such an inspiration to us all of how we can give back and #give10 each day, just by how we treat others. She says "It doesn't take much time to make someone's day better." Because of her involvement in her community, she's come to appreciate all of the blessings and material things she has as well as remembering to remain humble.
Ella was honored as our Coin Toss Captain for the Monday Night Football game, and was surprised to find out she was selected as the contest winner because she didn't even nominate herself. "I don't serve others with the intent of receiving. I serve out of love," Ella said.
Are you signed up to #give10? Share how you are helping the community and pledge to be part of First and Ten on ClevelandBrowns.com/community. All you have to do is give 10 hours, help your community. We want to hear your stories so follow @BrownsGiveBack on Twitter and Instagram for the latest community updates and be sure to use #give10.