It was the peak of the playoffs last last December and I asked former NDSU tight end Matt Veldman about a story I wanted to do on his work with some underprivileged kid or kids. Not sure exactly what the story was. Whether it was out of modesty or the fact it was a subject that he just didn’t want out there, or maybe the subject demanded obscurity, he politely declined. So, it was on to another story.
This week, I got a sense of what Matt was doing. Our special game day section story this Saturday is on Bison linebacker Grant Olson, who over the course of our interview talked about his work with ShareHouse in Fargo, an addiction service that helps men and women get through those rough times. To get more in depth with the story, I talked with a director at ShareHouse, who said Grant did a geat job with the 9-year-old boy he mentored. The mother told the director she couldn’t say enough good things about him, and so you get the picture of how that went.
Anyway, it came about that Matt also was helping with ShareHouse last year, which I’m guessing was the story I was trying to tackle during the playoff run. That says a lot about the both Veldman and Olson, the things they do behind the scenes without fanfare. I did something similar on Billy Turner last year.
I’m sure there are other Bison players doing the same type of community service. There are kids that always do things benefit the community in ways we don’t know about. It’s one thing to do something in front of a full Fargodome; it says quite a lot about a young athlete to do something so valuable when nobody is watching.