Najee Harris isn’t just excited to play in the NFL for everything he can do on the football field. He’s just as thrilled to give back to the community. Harris joined The Ellen Show, guest-hosted by avid NFL fan Rob Lowe, to discuss his mission.
“I’m starting my own non-profit,” Harris told the show. “It’s called Da’ Bigger Picture Foundation. There are a lot of things I want to do, of course. I want to have a heavy focus on giving back to kids who are in need. I want to bring awareness to homelessness because I was once in that position. I want to help get homeless shelters what they need.”
Growing up in California, Harris spent time in a homeless shelter as his family moved from place to place. In fact, Harris turned down a draft invite to hold his draft day party in Richmond, California at the shelter he lived in for several months.
Harris told Lowe what went into that decision, saying going to Cleveland meant he couldn’t be around the countless people who helped him become the player and person he is now.
“Only a certain number of people can get invited to the draft. I was like, there’s no way in hell only this many people helped me out to get me where I’m at today. I felt the whole community of the Bay Area helped me get to where I’m at today. I decided to not go there and have it in the Bay Area.”
Harris was taken with the 24th pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers praised Harris for his talents as a running back but also for his others-first mentality. Whether that was his decision to return for his senior season, helping lead Alabama to a National Title, driving nine hours to be with teammates for the school’s first Pro Day, or his strong community work already.
Lowe and The Ellen Show finished up the interview by presenting Harris a $10,000 check for his foundation. If you want to learn more about the foundation, check out Harris’ website at the link here. According to the site, you can buy clothes to raise money for a focus on “education, homelessness, addressing hunger and utilizing sports as a platform to develop life skills.”