ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – Denver Broncos guard Ben Garland, the team’s Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, was presented with a $10,000 check from Nationwide Insurance on Wednesday to his SoDE Solution foundation.
For his efforts to assist low-income women in Cambodia and end sex-trafficking there, Denver Broncos guard Ben Garland was named the team’s Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year in December.
Garland co-founded and is the executive director of SoDE Solution, a nonprofit that creates sustainable economic situations that help prevent sex-trafficking in the southeastern Asian nation. The organization provides power, clean water and food to an orphanage that’s been in existence for 15 years.
“Garland is a regular participant in team community events. He volunteers his time for Drive for Life, Hometown Huddle, events with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, the Broncos high school football platform and the Denver Broncos Holiday Party for the Denver Rescue Mission,” the team said in a statement.
“It was a huge honor and the fact that so many guys on the team do so much for our community — even the Broncos really go out of their way to really help our community — for them to honor me in this way, it means a lot to me. But to get that $10,000 towards my foundation, we’re going to be able to do so much with that all around the world,” Garland said.
The Broncos will submit Garland as their representative to the NFL’s league-wide Walter Payton campaign. The national award winner will be announced during Super Bowl week. Former quarterback and current team executive John Elway was the franchise’s only league-wide selection in 1992.
“(When) I was a kid in Colorado when people did stuff for me it meant so much to me. I remember I met a Bronco—it was a no-name guy—when I was a little kid and he did something for me and that’s all I could talk about for the next two months,” Garland said. “So I figured if I ever had that opportunity to help out the way they helped me, I’m going to.
Previous nominees include linebacker Wesley Woodyard (2010-11, 2013), guard Zane Beadles (2012), cornerback Champ Bailey (2008-09), cornerback Domonique Foxworth (2007), wide receiver Rod Smith (2004, 2006), safety John Lynch (2005), linebacker Ian Gold (2003) and wide receiver Ed McCaffrey (2002).
The award was established in 1970 and renamed in 1999 for the former Chicago Bears running back.
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