Athlete raises aware of abused kids

New Orleans Saints Fullback Heath Evans hails from South Florida and even graduated from The King’s Academy in West Palm Beach in 1997. Highly regarded in the professional sports world, Heath views his successful career in football as nothing more than a platform to impact lives for Christ.

“God doesn’t need NFL players, he needs NFL players to love him … so I’m doing my best to live my life in such a way that people will see what a difference Jesus Christ makes,” he says.

Evans speaks frequently at schools and churches in South Florida, Alabama and around the country encouraging others.

After graduating from Kings Academy, Heath attended Auburn University until he left to join the NFL. In college, he met and married Beth Ann, and the couple now has two children.

Three months after his wedding, Heath was drafted to Seattle.

Heath would soon discover that his wife had been sexually abused by a classmate as a third grade student. Shocked and saddened, he recommended that she go to counseling, yet the secular style of counseling she received was detrimental.

“When the football season was over, Evans moved back to Florida with his wife in hopes to get loving Christian support from family members and solid biblical counseling,” shares Glenn Martin, president of the Heath Evans Foundation and a former coach and teacher of Heath’s.

The Evans’ often reached out to help others, and as Beth Ann healed and continued to grow in her faith, the family wanted to broaden their scope to help others who had been abused as children.

“Heath and Beth Ann were helping a young girl in Alabama get counseling for abuse, and they saw again first-hand how powerful solid biblical counseling is,” Martin shares.

The Heath Evans Foundation was created to raise awareness and provide counseling for victims of abuse. Martin says national statistics show that one in four young girls will be sexually abused before the age of 18, and one in six boys will experience sexual abuse.

The Foundation was also created to encourage young athletes to be people of character.

Heath’s two major community events each year reflect his devotion to spreading the Gospel and serving others. The Heath Evans 7-on-7 Championship invites athletes from around South Florida to participate in a competitive arena while sharing a clear message and invitation to accept the Gospel of Jesus. Powerful speakers such as 2006 NFL MVP Shaun Alexander and three-time Super Bowl Winner and current New England Patriots Chaplain Don Davis have shared at the event. Pro athletes Zach Thomas, Daniel Graham, Kevin Faulk and others have attended to help to raise funds for the programs and services of the Foundation.

On Feb. 20, 2010, the Heath Evans Foundation is scheduled to host NFL players versus the Palm Beach Sherriff’s SWAT team in a lively softball showdown at Roger Dean Stadium.

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