NFL player hands out free book bags to Detroit students

By Evrod Cassimy - Reporter/Anchor

DETROIT - Joe Barksdale is an NFL veteran and Cass Tech High School graduate.

He wants to see students here in Detroit succeed so he's using his own money to give back.

"Hi! Fine and you? I was coming to let you know we're having a backpack and school supplies giveaway," said Barksdale as he, his wife Brionna and their beautiful daughter Kennedy went door-to-door in a Detroit neighborhood.

They were passing out flyers about a book bag giveaway this week. 

"Ok! My baby need a book bag too!” replied one Detroit resident.

“Oh well bring em through!" said Barksdale. 

The 28-year-old NFL veteran and current Los Angeles Charger offensive tackle grew up on the street where he was passing out the flyers. He feels it's his duty to help others.

“It's really important (to give back to students)," said Barksdale. "I mean I wouldn't call it a responsibility just because I'm not doing it begrudgingly but um at the same time if it is to be it begins with me."

Around the corner from Joe's childhood home is the Northwest Activities Center where kids will be given the free and stylish Sprayground book bags. At up to $100 a piece, he's giving away 500 bags which he paid for out of his own pocket to encourage these students to do well in school.

"There's something about walking away from an event with something,” explained Joe. “You know, it reminds you of what happened that day and just kind of drives the point home a little bit more. Anything is possible as long as you work towards it."

If you'd like to get one of the free book bags, they're being given away at the Northwest Activities Center on Meyers Road this Wednesday from 5-8 p.m. They're on a first come, first served basis.

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