Giving back: The fabric of Arizona Cardinals’ Kelvin Beachum as a person

Dec 10, 2021, 3:26 PM | Updated: 4:32 pm
Kelvin Beachum #68 of the Arizona Cardinals leads teammates onto the field before the NFL game agai...
Kelvin Beachum #68 of the Arizona Cardinals leads teammates onto the field before the NFL game against the San Francisco 49ers at State Farm Stadium on October 10, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

TEMPE — When Kelvin Beachum was brought up to Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill during free agency in 2020, he jumped at the opportunity to sign the offensive lineman.

He couldn’t have been more pumped up. Not only did Bidwill know what he was getting from a player standpoint in Beachum, but the owner also knew what the tackle brought to the team as a person.

Ever since meeting Beachum for the first time as inaugural members of the owner/player social justice working group committee “Let’s Listen Together” in 2018, Bidwill has followed his efforts both on and off the field.

“Kelvin, in every market in which he’s played throughout his career, has made a huge impact in those markets and back home,” Bidwill said Friday. “Those impacts have been across the board. Where there’s food insecurity issues, he’s working here with the St. Mary’s Food Bank, United Food Bank. Where there’s school issues, he’s working to get computers and equipment, not just for kids but also for teachers and providing resources to schools.

“Each year he’s doing different things around the holidays as well. He’s also focused on a number of other things including art. He’s got an exhibit that he’s participating in down at the Phoenix Art Museum. He has the broadest range of different interests that I’ve seen of any player in my career.”

Beachum’s efforts in numerous communities hasn’t gone unnoticed, with the lineman being named the New York Jets’ Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2018 before earning the honor with the Cardinals earlier this week.

Given his community outreach, NFL career and duties as a father and husband, there’s no rest for the wicked.

As recently as Monday, Beachum was giving out backpacks, pens, notebooks and other essential supplies to more than 500 students at Sun Valley Academy in Phoenix.

In addition to the school supplies, Beachum in the last 18 months has supplied more than 500,000 families with emergency kits that include food, personal protective equipment and other supplies.

It may sound like a lot to juggle at once, but for Beachum, who can see more being built on top of the foundation he set 10 years ago, it’s all about priorities.

“You structure your life the way you want to,” Beachum said Friday. “Everything that I do is done with family in mind. Most of the time when I’m volunteering, my kids are going with me, wife is going with me. So that’s time for us to be able to bond and grow together.

“It may sound like it’s busy, but when you structure your time a certain way … I think you can do anything that you want to do.”

When looking back to figure out when his desire to give back first started, Beachum was taken back to when his mother would have barbeques and invite the entire community over. The lineman took those experiences to heart, eventually becoming a campus leader during his time at Southern Methodist.

His philanthropic work has only continued to grow.

“This is the fabric of who I am and the fabric of my family,” Beachum said. “Now, having this platform, being on this stage, you’re able to bring even more awareness, you have a bigger microphone, you have millions and millions of eyes on you.

“To be able to have that type of bandwidth from an eyes standpoint is super special but again, this is work that’s been done over a number of years.”

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Giving back: The fabric of Arizona Cardinals’ Kelvin Beachum as a person