My Cause My Cleats | Tennessee Titans - TitansOnline.com
Linebacker Wesley Woodyard
Cause: 16Ways Foundation/ALS
Shoe size: 13
Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard has selected two causes that are dear to him, for different reasons.
As co-founder of The 16Ways Foundation, Woodyard wants to do his part to help at-risk youth.
He's also used the NFL's My Cause My Cleats platform to raise awareness and funds for ALS. Woodyard's aunt suffered from ALS leading up to her death, and Woodyard is close to former Titans linebacker Tim Shaw, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2014.
"Just starting back to when I was a little kid, the motto "It takes a village to raise a child," that is something me and my cousin wanted to do to help our community, to be that village for the kids that really don't have anybody to be there for them," Woodyard said. "It has taken us from working in schools, working outside of school, literacy programs, bullying programs, mentorship programs, free football camps, girls programs."
The programs through The 16Ways Foundation are designed to build self-esteem, promote responsibility for one's own actions and overcoming obstacles, and demonstrate the importance of academics, knowledge of career options, professional development, community involvement, and mental and physical fitness among youth of all socio-economic backgrounds. The Foundation's primary focus is to work with at-risk youth between the ages of 8 and 18 and a secondary focus on adults in employment transition.
Woodyard said the memory of his family members who battled ALS, and Shaw, have made a big impact on his life.
"ALS hits close to him," Woodyard said. "I call him the real 59 -- my brother Tim Shaw. And my aunt died from ALS, my grandfather died from it, my wife's aunt died from it, too. Those two things hit close to home and it's definitely something that I want to be a part of changing and helping out whenever I get a chance to."