Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is known nearly as much for his off-field contributions as for his Hall of Fame-worthy NFL career, so news of his next off-field honor should come as no surprise.
On Saturday, Fitzgerald will receive the Caring Award from the Starkey Hearing Foundation, an organization that provides, in its own words, the gift of hearing to patients around the world. The organization is based in Fitzgerald's home state of Minnesota.
“It touched me deeply," Fitzgerald told the Cardinals. “Starkey brought me in as family and showed me globally how to have a profound impact on humanity just by being in touch with the basic needs of humanity. From the first time having a person sitting in my chair who couldn’t hear to seeing the reaction after they were fit with hearing aids was profound."
Fitzgerald has been an advocate of the organization since meeting its co-founders about 10 years ago. Since then, he's helped people hear better, and often hear for the first time, by working with the foundation to distribute hearing aids to patients all over the world. Fitzgerald has participated in over 15 missions with the foundation across the globe.
"Larry has been an incredible supporter of our work for years," Richard Brown, Starkey Hearing Foundation president, said in a statement. "It is because of dedicated sponsors and volunteers like him that we are able to bring the gift of hearing to so many more people around the world. We are so thankful for Larry's tireless commitment to serve others and help change the world."
Fitzgerald will receive his award at the foundation's Summer Sounds Annual Benefit in Minnesota on Saturday. Actor Billy Crystal, another longtime advocate of the foundation, will also be honored.
Fitzgerald was in Minnesota on Wednesday to assist with a youth football camp.
Loved the kids’ energy at our Minneapolis camp...passion and teamwork all there. Proud of them and grateful that I got to see so many old friends and family at Holy Angels. Thanks to all who made an unbelievable day possible 🙏🏾🙌🏾 pic.twitter.com/d8xsnkDIgo— Larry Fitzgerald (@LarryFitzgerald) July 17, 2019