Former University of Houston linebacker Grant Stuard used his pro day last week to do more than showcase his skills and hopefully improve his draft stock.
He turned it into an opportunity to raise money for a cause that is deeply personal to him.
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Stuard’s bench press reps became a fundraising effort for Heels to Halos, a Christian organization striving to bring “truth, identity, and worth to women in the sex industry.”
“This is an opportunity for those passionate about this cause to actually DO something about it,” he wrote in an Instagram post promoting the effort. “Heels to Halos is on the front lines, getting women out of the sex industry and into the arms of Jesus Christ every single day!”
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The two-time All-American Athletic Conference selection goes to church with the founder of Heels to Halos, making the partnership a natural one. And there is nothing coincidental about Stuard’s passion for this particular cause.
His mom has worked in the sex industry and battled a drug addiction, giving him a deep appreciation for the positive impact organizations like Heels to Halos can have.
“Actual work is being done in getting these women out of the sex industry, out of sex trafficking,” Stuard told KPRC 2 in Houston. “And women who are recovering from sex trafficking, giving them an avenue in order to be supported and to be loved, and also a way to become a productive member of society again.”
As of Thursday morning, Stuard’s efforts had raised $5,238, surpassing his goal of $5,000. Donations are still being accepted and can be made here.
Stuard was active in the community throughout his time at Houston, helping organize a food drive for the Houston Food Bank that brought in 800 pounds of food, and a school supplies drive in his hometown of Conroe, Texas.
Back in December, Stuard announced on social media he was opting out of Houston’s bowl game to begin preparing for the NFL draft. He started off his post by acknowledging the impact Christ has had in his life and encouraging everyone to pursue a relationship with Him.
“I would like to thank Jesus Christ, the Lord of my life, for completely changing me and making me into the person I am today,” he wrote. “I want to encourage anyone who does not have a relationship with Jesus to seek Him. You will not be disappointed.”
THANK YOU HOUSTON 🖤 pic.twitter.com/N5FbcKRWyB
— Grant Stuard (@GrantStuard_3) December 17, 2020
Stuard collected 191 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss and two sacks in 33 games at Houston. He was the Cougars’ leading tackler each of the past two seasons, earning second team all-conference honors in 2019 and being named a member of the All-AAC first team in 2020. His 97 tackles last year were good for third in the conference.
Stuard and the rest of this year’s prospects don’t have to wait much longer for the NFL draft, which will take place in Cleveland, Ohio, from April 29-May 1.
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