GREEN BAY - While known for many great on-field exploits, Donald Driver and his family are very well known throughout Northeast Wisconsin for their contributions to the community.
Between his charitable organization, The Donald Driver Foundation, and other organizations in the Green Bay area, Driver has touched many lives. Possibly saving some.
A different face for homelessness
"I think his legacy goes beyond what he's done on the playing field," said Robyn Davis, president of Freedom House Ministries, a shelter for homeless families in Green Bay.
Right now, the shelter's halls and rooms are filled with 25 children and their families – looking for a better life.
Homeless himself as a child, Driver and The Donald Driver Foundation have helped Freedom House in more ways than just through monetary donations, says Davis.
"It helps to put another face on homelessness and break the stereotype," said Davis of Driver's story out of poverty. "So it most definitely raises the awareness factor and it causes people to think differently about the issue."
A partner for statewide safety
A couple of years ago, Driver and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation teamed up on the "Zero in Wisconsin" campaign, urging drivers and passengers to wear their seatbelts.
"I always wear my seatbelt and so does everyone that rides with me," said Driver in one public service announcement. "Because even a car crash at just 15 miles an hour can feel like getting hit by a 300-pound lineman."
DOT regional program manager Mike Panosh says Driver has been a great partner and expects the partnership to continue.
"When you look at the kind of commitment he's made to transportation safety, I think it says a lot about who he is as a person," said Panosh.
Dancing for a cause
Driver's 2012 victory on the ABC show "Dancing with the Stars" is helping the Northeast Wisconsin Red Cross Chapter. The organization is holding its fifth annual "Dancing with Our Stars" benefit this February.
"Knowing that our event is based around dancing, we said we need to find a marriage here," said Shawn Kiser with the NEW Red Cross. "We got to find a way to get Donald to our event."
Driver's wife Betina will be the celebrity dancer; Donald, the professional.
A spokesperson for his foundation says since Driver is retiring, we may see even more charitable work from Driver in the coming years.
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