Terrance Mitchell is nervous.
Dressed in a Maroon suit with a navy blue dress shirt underneath, Mitchell is going over his acceptance speech.
“All I have to say is thank you and support the Providence House, right?” Mitchell asks.
Mitchell did so much more on a special night at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Mitchell was named the Cleveland Browns’ 2018 recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award for rehabbing his broken wrist in just eight weeks and for his work in the community. Mitchell was chosen by his teammates to win this award, which validates him in a way many other accolades couldn’t.
“That is a lot of love,” Mitchell said. “It makes me really appreciate my teammates for them to even think that way about me. That was a blessing. I love my team. I love this organization. It is all good.”
Also adding to the honor is the setting for the award’s presentation. Mitchell was given the award at the Providence House’s 23rd annual Deck the House Auction, where all proceeds go toward funding the Providence House’s efforts to save at-risk or neglected children.
Along with his award, Mitchell was awarded a teddy bear, which is the first thing given to children when they arrive at Providence House locations. Providence finds homes for 98 percent of the children in their care, and none of their children have been placed in foster care for more than two years.
Mitchell relates to these children. He grew up as member of Boys and Girls clubs in his community. Now he’s an example for the members of groups like that and Providence House to follow.
“Coming from where I come from, I understand their struggle,” Mitchell said. “It’s just a blessing to help these kids out. Anytime I can motivate the youth in any type of way, I’m all for it.”
That kind of attitude is the basis for the Browns’ longtime relationship with the Providence House. Baker Mayfield also attended the auction on Tuesday and helped raise more than $100,000 through opportunities and items that he donated. He even acted as a guest auctioneer for one of the opportunities he donated.
Auction-goers cheered for Mayfield and Mitchell on Tuesday. Fans talked playoffs and even Super Bowl aspirations en route to raising six figures for at-risk youths.
That’s the power of a football team helping its community. And Natalie Leek, Providence House’s CEO and President, is thankful for that connection.
“It’s amazing,” Leek said. “We’ve been so blessed through the years that players have stepped up and feel really passionate about this issue. I think it speaks to the heart of the Cleveland Browns and how much they love their city.”