Why I Give: Johnny Hekker

Posted Aug 14, 2014

Johnny Hekker shares his motivation for assisting the St. Louis community, helping adults with disabilities and setting an example for his teammates.

The following piece was initially published in the first edition of the 2014 Rams Insider Magazine. For more stories like this, purchase a copy of the Rams Insider Magazine during any and all Rams home games at the Edward Jones Dome.

Q: Why do you give?

A: I would say that why I give is a combination between my faith and my upbringing. My faith, being a Christian and following Jesus and seeing that his example was that of a very charitable heart and taking care of those who are less fortunate. Also my Dad worked at a facility for adults with disabilities. I grew up going to work with him, seeing his giving heart and helping people around him. Seeing that everyone needs help, whether they seem put together like you and me or they’re impoverished or have a disability. Showing that you care and that you put in the effort to improve others’ lives goes a long way. To help not only helps them but it helps God balance you out as a human as well. Being charitable is good for the soul.

Q: What has the response to your charitable attributes been like in St. Louis?

A: I think people in St. Louis are very, very appreciative. You know, even if it’s just a little signing an autograph if someone recognizes me at a store or going to a full-fledged community outreach effort by the Rams or a personal endeavor, I think people really appreciate seeing the Rams take hold of the community and trying to improve St. Louis as a whole. I think that there is a lot to be done in St. Louis and I think that people recognize that the Rams are an organization that truly cares about St. Louisians and people within our own community.

Q: The Rams have one of the most charitable locker rooms in sports. What qualities do you hope your teammates pick up from the work that you do?

A: I would just love for people to take a step back and realize how blessed they are, to realize that they’re blessed to be a blessing. We aren’t given all of these platforms and opportunities to reach people to squander them or to sit around and not do much. I would just like people to see that I try and live by the golden rule; I want to treat people how I want to be treated.