Todd Gurley is known for being one of the top running backs in the NFL as he currently sits fifth in the league in rushing yards and second in rushing touchdowns. However, the Georgia native is making even more of an impact off the field, teaming up with Pillsbury and Operation Homefront to welcome a military family into a new, Atlanta-based, rent-free house, which is called "The Welcome Home." PopCulture.com got a chance to talk to the Atlanta Falcons running back, and he explained why he wanted to help a military family transition back into civilian life.
"It goes back to me playing at Georgia, going away for a while and just being able to come back," said Gurley, who played for the University of Georgia Bulldogs before being drafted by the St. Louis (now Los Angeles) Rams in 2015 and eventually signing with the Falcons earlier this year. "To have the opportunity to partner with Pillsbury and Operation Homefront to provide a military family with a brand new home and help them transition back into regular civilian life, I think it was the perfect time."
Mentioning that the Falcons honored the military during their game against the Denver Broncos this past Sunday ahead of Veterans Day, he also talked about the Operation Homefront family he worked with, which consists of Air Force Aircraft mechanic Trevor, his wife Brittany, and their 5-year-old son. Gurley surprised Brittany and the toddler with the new home as he FaceTimed Trevor, who is currently deployed — and Gurley also got a chance to bake some Pillsbury cookies for the family.
"They were excited," Gurley said when talking about Brittany and their son's reaction to seeing him and the new home. "I wish Trevor could have been there but we were able to FaceTime him and he was so overwhelmed and happy. … We got a chance to bake some cookies and bring them home in the right way."
Gurley also noted that it was different for him because he's "never been in that situation before. I was just happy for them and even more happy just to see them being able to have a home."
Pillsbury's "The Welcome Home" will be part of Operation Homefront's Transitional Homes for Community Reintegration (THCR) program. This means the family is assigned to a caseworker and financial counselor who works with them to create realistic financial, educational, employment and personal goal plans. Trevor and Brittany grew up in the Atlanta area, so their family lives nearby if they need any help.
As for Gurley, he's happy that he's back in the state of Georgia and the city of Atlanta for not just football, but for being able to help people in need. "I fell in love with a school that's an hour away," Gurley stated, adding that he's happy to be "playing for the Falcons and just trying to do off-the-field stuff. The Black Culture in the city of Atlanta means a lot."