Buffalo Bills wide receiver David Nelson took a trip overseas this Memorial Day weekend to help orphaned children in Haiti.
Nelson travels on a mission trip with his church each year, giving back to communities hit by devastation.
"I hope that I can gain a perspective. I'm going to help in whatever way I can," Nelson said before departing.
The night before the five-day trip, Nelson asked the Buffalo community to give back and donate any unused items for the children in Haiti. Nelson reached out to his fans via Twitter, asking for donations including, clothing, shoes, and food. With a great turnout, Nelson was able to bring five bags of donated items to the children in Haiti.
"You can never prepare yourself for that type of environment," said Nelson. You see kids walking in the middle of the street by themselves, no clothes, no shoes, and looks like they haven't eaten in weeks."
These were just a few of the first impressions that Nelson had while visiting Haiti, and after spending time at a few orphanages he quickly learned that the children just want someone to look up to.
"These are kids that don't have any parents or family," said Nelson. "They run up to you with open arms smiling. They want someone to care for them, want somebody to hold them and play with them."
Nelson shared his football talents with the kids as he held a mini-clinic, teaching them how to throw the football, and different interactive drills.
"Most of them didn't know how to throw the football," said Nelson. "They all wanted to learn how to throw and learn the rules. We left the footballs over there so hopefully it catches on and becomes a major sport for them."
In addition, Nelson brought ten soccer balls for the children to keep, and played basketball with some of the older kids.
"You spend hours with these kids and they become part of you," said Nelson. "They become attached to you, and you don't want to leave them. When you're leaving, a piece of you stays with them."
Humbled by the experience, Nelson took from the trip an appreciation and different life perspective.
"In the midst of all the chaos, they still manage to put a smile on their face…go to school…fight through the adversity," said Nelson. It was very humbling for me to see and to experience that with them, and see how these people appreciate life because everyday is not guaranteed."