Jeff Cumberland making an impact off the field

Jeff Cumberland, who has made noise on the field this season with 15 receptions and a touchdown, is making an even greater impact off it with his charitable efforts.

The fifth-year tight end, is hosting a Thanksgiving Turkey Drive in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio on November 22 for inner city families.

Giving back to the community of Columbus and the New York and New Jersey area is something that is very important to Cumberland.

“Me growing up being in a tougher environment that I grew up in, with all the poverty in all that there wasn’t really anybody coming around giving back,” Cumberland said. “Even like the little bit of guys that actually made it out, they never really came back and did anything that was extravagant, that was noticeable. So, I always said once I made it and I was able to give back then I would give back in any type of way.”

Cumberland has lived up to his word. Since he has been in the NFL, he has been involved in numerous charity events. This is his third year doing a Turkey Drive in Columbus and he also holds annual Toy Drives in both Columbus and New York. This past June, he held his first annual youth football clinic.

“Just the simple fact that it’s a pro athlete and they get to be around them and they get to experience that lightens them up and puts a smile on their face, that’s priceless.” Said Cumberland.

Cumberland is so committed to his philanthropic efforts that for his Toy Drive in Columbus last year, he actually bought the toys himself for the under privileged children.

Cumberland’s commitment to help out the less fortunate has earned him the reputation of a role model, which is something that means a lot to him.

“It means a lot to me, to know that some little kid looks up to me and wants to follow (in) my shoes,” said Cumberland. “And so with that said, you have to be a role model and show and do positive things.”

While Cumberland is unable to attend his upcoming Turkey Drive because of the Jets game against the Bills on Sunday, his family will be on-site to pass out turkeys on the tight ends’ behalf.

His family’s commitment and involvement with his charity events is something that is very important to Cumberland.

“It is very important that my family is there to make up for that (not being there),” Cumberland said. “And (to) show that they’re in it as well.

Cumberland’s vast efforts to give back to the community have gained the attention of Kroger Supermarket chain as well as the City of Columbus each of which will provide turkeys for the drive.

“It’s real big,” said Cumberland of the partnerships with Kroger and the City of Columbus. “And they see I’m trying to do positive things around (the community). A lot of times when you’re somebody and you’re doing positive things and you’re trying to help out around the community and you’re trying to do positive things people pick up on that.”

Cumberland’s next event will be a “Holiday Party” where 20 teenagers from the Boys and Girls club will be able to eat and play games with him at a local Dave and Busters on December 15.

For more information about his upcoming Thanksgiving Turkey Drive, visit:

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