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He may be injured, but Santa Cam is still giving gifts to Charlotte schools

Shalise Manza Young
Yahoo Sports Columnist

It might be Cam Newton’s time to be named the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year.

This has been a season of struggle for the Carolina Panthers quarterback — he spent the offseason rehabbing from shoulder surgery and the preseason being brought along slowly, only to suffer what turned out to be a season-ending injury in the third preseason game — but he’s still doing whatever he can to try to help where he can around Charlotte.

On Tuesday, CBS Sports reporter Jonathan Jones posted photos of Newton on his annual “Santa Cam’s Surprise Sleigh” trip to schools around the city.

At the first stop, Berry Academy of Technology, which is a magnet high school, Newton donated $15,000 to the athletics program.

He may be injured, but Cam Newton still played Santa for Charlotte schools on Tuesday. (Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire)

At Westerly Hills Academy, a pre-K through grade 8 school, he gave every staff member, down to the janitorial staff and bus drivers, a $100 Visa gift card.

And at UrbanPromise, which offers after-school programs and summer camps, Newton donated $25,000 to the school and students received backpacks and beanies.

Just before Thanksgiving, he held his annual “Thanksgiving Jam.” At the event, Newton doesn’t just serve dinner for well over 1,300 children and families in need, everyone also gets a meal to take home to enjoy on Thanksgiving Day. Over the last couple of years, Newton has pushed the number of people served at the event from 800 to 1,300.

Newton’s foundation, playing off his jersey No. 1, has three pillars: Every 1 Plays, Every 1 Gives, and Every 1 Learns; all fall under his belief that Every 1 Matters.

Last week, the Panthers announced that Newton is the team’s Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee. Three finalists will be named during the playoffs, with the winner named during NFL Honors the night before Super Bowl LIV.

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