Texans veteran defensive end Whitney Mercilus provided a back-to-school boost to underserved Houston Independent School District students.
Mercilus' charitable foundation gave out vouchers for school supplies, backpacks, gift cards for school clothes and haircuts in a 'Returning 2 Learning' event Friday morning at Lamar Fleming Middle School, helping over 700 students from that school and Isaacs Elementary students.
Mercilus was practicing Friday morning and couldn't attend, but the event was supported by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, former Texans players Chester Pitts and Earl Mitchell, HISD officials, including Superintendent Milliard House, and Crime Stoppers of Houston CEO Rania Mankarious.
Mercilus' With Merci foundation, founded in 2016, gives financial support and opportunities to families of children with disabilities and special needs.
"COVID-19, played a big role in our giving last year, but this year me and my team have been determined to step up and do our part and serve the community that has been so kind to me," Mercilus said. "It is always my hope to do more. I know that God has put me in the position to be a leader and to return the blessing he has giving me. Returning 2 Learning, gives the kids we serve hope and a promise for a better future."
Aaron Wilson has covered the NFL for 20 seasons, including the Texans, Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars. He has previously written for The Houston Chronicle and The Baltimore Sun. He’s on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL and Instagram: @aaronwilson7128.