It is hard not to notice Cory Redding on the football field. He imposes his will on opposing offenses every week in the NFL, creating havoc and disrupting the well-laid plans of offensive coordinators.
What you might not know about him is that he applies the same all-out approach to mentoring and helping children through his foundation, a passion that began with him as a result of those who helped him as a young person who, in his own words, needed guidance.
“I owe a lot to the coaches I had earlier in my life,” said Redding in the locker room after helping the Colts defeat the Seattle Seahawks. “Those experiences led me to mentor young people when I was in college and that provided a platform for my foundation.”
While he is modest when speaking about his work, there can be no doubt about the impact the Cory Redding Foundation has had, both in his native state of Texas as well as here in Indianapolis.
Recognizing his own good fortune and realizing the need to help others, he developed the “Hearts” Outreach Program which is an acronym for Helping Every At Risk Texas Student.
The initiative provides funding and support for educational, recreational and community assistance programs both in Texas and here in the Circle City. One of their ongoing commitments is the School Pledge Program where Redding himself speaks to young students and challenges them to do their best in the classroom and the community with an emphasis on better values and higher standards of accountability. He revisits those who have successfully reached the objectives of the program and provides a pizza party to recognize the hard work and dedication they demonstrated.
His pleasant, yet outgoing demeanor captures both the attention and the imagination of children he works with and that has not gone unnoticed by those in the community.
“Cory is simply one of those guys who gets it,” said WISH TV Sports Director Anthony Calhoun, who works with him on his Sports Locker program each Sunday night. “His contributions to the community have been enormous.”
Despite all he has accomplished on the football field, Redding feels his endeavors away from the game are far more rewarding. “I am positioned for life after football and I want to make sure that young people are also prepared to face the challenges that everyday life holds for them too.”
Notes: Redding’s latest School Pledge Program involves students in grades five through seven at the Light House Academy here in Indianapolis. He visited them along with the Colts mascot to issue the challenge of greater academic achievement and being their best away from the classroom.
You can learn more about the Cory Redding Foundation, including their 3D Football Camps that emphasize the importance of life skills in addition to football technique, by logging on to the foundation website at: coryreddingfoundation.org.
Danny Bridges, who now realizes Cory Redding is so much more than a football player, can be reached at (317) 578-1780 or at [email protected]