“(Head athletic trainer) Reggie Scott put me up for the award, which was a great honor,” Miller said. “To get noticed, and to get some attention for that, that was cool. I knew I was doing the right thing.”
Since 1984, the Ed Block Courage Foundation has honored one player from each team with the award. It is given to the player who best exemplifies inspiration, sportsmanship and courage, as voted on by teammates. But it is not solely about gaining accolades. As with many foundations, the real satisfaction comes in giving back.
The foundation developed a network of “Courage Houses” that are currently present in 20 NFL cities. Recipients of the award are strongly encouraged to get involved in the program. Since receiving his award, Miller has made the program a priority.
“The most important thing is to get down there and hang out with the kids,” Miller said. “The experience I had in Baltimore at the Courage House was amazing. The kids want nothing from you but time. They want to color with you, play football with you, just be around other people. “
St. Louis has its own Courage House, known as “Our Little Haven.” As with all Courage Houses, the goal of Our Little Haven is to help prevent child abuse and assist with the treatment of abused or neglected children.
“We like to say we’re caring for children mind, body and soul,” Scott Hummel, executive director at Our Little Haven said. “And we really work with the youngest victims in the sense that we can fix their issues earlier on, allowing them to have a strong future. It’s about resolving issues stemming from abuse and neglect. We work to get these kids happy and healthy.”
Hummel and his wife, Kathleen Hummel, founded Our Little Haven in 1993. Today, the organization serves over 400 kids each year through six different programs.
On Wednesday, Miller promoted his partnership with Our Little Haven during a “Chubby vs. Skinny Punt, Pass and Kick Competition” with Fox 2 host Tim Ezell. Miller and Ezell donned shirts from the former’s “Chubby Domination” line.
Miller teamed with DPCTED Apparel to produce the shirts, which contain various phrases championing stockier body types. Despite his dedication to fitness, Miller said he has always had a stockier frame. He told a story of how one year in college he was determined to trim down, and lost 30 pounds in the process. While his efforts resulted in a slimmer and healthier body, he was still unable to produce the elusive six-pack.
Abs or no abs, Miller produced the shirts with Our Little Haven in mind. A percentage of the proceeds from shirts sold are donated to Our Little Haven.
“Once (DPCTED) figured out we were going for charity, it was a no-brainer,” Miller said. “They offered to have proceeds from their other lines give back as well. We’re going to see how things are looking in about three months, and then I’m going to try and get a few guys in our locker room, including myself, to match whatever it is we made from the shirts, and make sure Our Little Haven is taken care of.”
The partnership is one that Hummel and his staff very much appreciate.
“Having a community leader like the Rams involved with Our Little Haven and allowing us the opportunity to invite people to participate through the team is just invaluable,” Hummel said. “We couldn’t even put a figure to it, per se. Just the relationship and the community aspect allowing us to piggyback on the Rams’ reputation is pretty cool.”