Running back Alvin Pearman's schedule off the field has been almost as busy as the one on the field this season. Pearman has been a regular visitor every Tuesday to the Children's Home Society, an organization which serves as a foster home for physically, emotionally and sexually abused children. Many of the children have behavioral problems as well.
The children have become attached to Pearman.
"He means so much to these kids," Nick Geinosky, development specialist for the Children's Home Society said. "Not just necessarily because he is a football player but just because he is here. He shows up every week, he shows up when he says he is going to. The kids really look up to him as a person and not just a football player."
Pearman began visiting the Children's Home Society during his rookie season last year. He wanted to get involved with children who needed help and guidance. He dived right in to assisting the organization shortly after being introduced.
"Alvin is so genuine and mature for his age. We often hear about athlete' immaturities in the media. Alvin is so far from that," Geinosky said. "He is an outstanding role model.
"He doesn't mind speaking up when a child swears or is acting inappropriately. He doesn't mind speaking up and correcting them. Some volunteers have a tough time doing that. He is very courteous with everybody and treats everybody the same. He genuinely gets it."
Pearman spends the majority of his time with a group of 16 children. They interact with each other by playing sports. During rainy or cold days, Pearman will help the children with their homework or read a book with them. The children have even invited Pearman to have dinner with them and he has stayed and eaten.
"Tuesdays are great, after working so hard throughout the week and playing on Sundays," Pearman said. "Tuesday is the day where first of all we can have time and secondly have the opportunity to go out and touch young people's lives. I think it is important that we have so many of the guys on the team who embrace it and have a good time with it."
With many of these children having behavioral problems it can be very difficult for the volunteers. Many of the volunteers struggle with how to handle certain situations.
"That's something our volunteers have to deal with every day," Geinosky said. "Not all of our volunteers have the commitment Alvin does to the Children's Home Society. Some of our volunteers have become frustrated and have not been able to help kids work through their issues. This is something Alvin has been able to do.
"He knows he can make a difference with what he does for a living and he has the opportunity to help others."