Devonta Freeman helps elderly neighbor with yard work (pic)
Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman had a rough upbringing growing up in the projects in Miami before starring at Florida State and moving on to the NFL. This has given Freeman an appreciation for the importance of fostering a good community, and that belief was on display recently when he assisted an elderly woman finish up her yard work.
Freeman was out a jog in his Atlanta neighborhood when he approached Eleanor Szendel, 82, and her daughter-in-law Denise Szendel working in their yard and having trouble emptying out a lawnmower. The Pro Bowl running back asked the two if he could lend a hand before it got too dark Monday evening.
Denise later asked if the could take a photograph, which Adams took. Bryan Szendel, Eleanor’s grandson and Denise’s son, then posted it to Instagram.
The post read: “@devontafreeman takes a stroll in the neighborhood, sees my mom and grandma working hard in the yard and stops to help them finish up. Thank you for being a stand up guy Devonta! #ATL #falcons #FSU #seminoles”
“So he got a kick out of it. It was a quick interaction, but my mom was excited and texted us all the picture,” Bryan Szendel said, via the Tallahassee Democrat. “It was just a really nice thing, and he was a really sweet guy.”
Bryan added that his mother recognized Freeman because her four kids, a daughter-in-law and son-in-law all attended Florida State over the years.
Several of Freeman’s Falcons teammates hardly were surprised by his Good Samaritan gesture.
“It doesn’t surprise me; he has a big heart,” right tackle Ryan Schraeder said of Freeman, via ESPN. “You can see that from the first time you meet him. He has a passion for people. Going back to the neighborhood he grew up in during the offseason, talking to kids, being a positive role model, he understands what it is all about. He lives it. We all admire the person he is.”
“He’s just a good person overall,” said nose tackle Joey Mbu. “Throughout all the success [last year], he was the same down-to-earth, humble dude.”