During his time attending Michigan State, Drew Stanton found a passion for helping others as he spent time working with the Special Olympics in Michigan and the Children’s Miracle Network.
And now that he’s more than a decade removed from his college years and resides in Arizona, where he plays for the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, that hasn’t stopped the former Michigan State star from giving back in the state of Michigan.
In 2008, Stanton started the High 5ive Foundation, which is dedicated to helping people with disabilities and children and families in need and has made significant contributions to Sparrow Hospital in Lansing and throughout Michigan.
Stanton credited the Special Olympics in Michigan and Children’s Miracle Network for inspiring him to create the High 5ive Foundation and has continued to make a difference in the community with the organization.
“I think that I was fortunate because obviously, getting involved with some great organizations while I was at Michigan State and the outreach programs that we have there and fell in love with the Special Olympics in Michigan and the Children’s Miracle Network and really just dealing with children in general,” he said. “Now, having my own and seeing the impact, not only it has on the kids, but the families, there’s nothing more important to me than my family and being able to be around them and the joy you get to share with them that is invaluable in my eyes. So being able to provide different resources and different outlets for these families that have to endure hard times is something that I wanted to do and that started way back when I was at Michigan State.”
Later this month, Stanton and his High 5ive Foundation will be hosting its annual Celebrity Golf Outing and Charity Auction at the Hawk Hollow Golf Course on Friday, June 16th.
The golf outing, which has recently been sold out, is an event that has continued to grow and draw interest from throughout the state of Michigan, including several Michigan State alumni.
“It’s great, that means the world to me to be able to throw a net out there and grab that many people,” he said. “I just reached out to Bobby McAllister about playing in our golf outing and T.J. Ducket and Tico Ducket and Dan Enos and all of the way to the guys that you’re mentioning now, if you ever put this uniform on in some way, shape or form, you’re a part of my family and I think that’s something that binds us together that is so unique.”
On June 15th, Stanton and Sparrow Hospital will be dedicating the newly remodeled Children’s Playroom, which Stanton and the High 5ive Foundation helped fund. The Children’s Playroom is yet another contribution to Sparrow Hospital by Stanton and the High 5ive Foundation, which also helped bring the hospital a Pediatric Treatment Room and a Teen Room for teens to spend time in while in the hospital.
The Pediatric Treatment Room, which was the first contribution to the hospital through the High 5ive Foundation was the first opportunity for the organization and all of its contributors and members to show what they are able to achieve.
“That was the biggest thing that I wanted to do when I started this foundation is to show people tangible results for what we’re trying to accomplish,” he said. “Put a price tag on something and then let them see the next year what everything has brought about through a year or two years of time. Initially it was a treatment room at Sparrow Hospital and through that treatment room, kids would then go to that room – we made an underwater theme, there was a treasure chest so they’d get a toy. So kids aren’t getting poked and prodded in the room, they feel safe in the room, they’re going into this environment that isn’t so friendly and for kids, there’s a lot of unknown and sometimes, it can be scary.”
Since becoming a father, Stanton admitted that the work his foundation continues to do has hit even closer to home and understands the struggles challenges that the children and the families can face at times.
“I think now, being able to put myself in those shoes and unfortunately, we’ve had a couple of our own visits at the Children’s hospital here in Phoenix,” he said. “It really puts everything in perspective for you and some of these kids are in there fighting for their lives. I know my foundation doesn’t do a lot out here (in Arizona) because we’re fortunate to have a lot of great teammates that have foundations and I just kind of piggy back off of what they do.”
For more about Stanton and his High 5ive Foundation and the upcoming Celebrity Golf Outing and Charity Auction, please visit high5ivefoundation.org.
Remember to check back to Spartan Nation for all of the latest news on Stanton and the High 5ive Foundation!