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Simple House Building / February 25, 2022

RENTON, Wash. - Back in April, Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril traveled to Haiti on a service trip to build schools, host a medical clinic and run a youth football camp.

With parts of the country now devastated by Hurricane Matthew, Avril spent his bye week figuring out how he could help once again. His parents came to America from Haiti in the 1980s, and Avril still has cousins there, although they were not affected by the hurricane.

He is currently working with Mission of Hope, a Haiti-based organization, to provide funding for food, water and medical services to people in the areas that were affected. Avril is also partnering with a charity called New Story to build a home in Haiti for every sack that he records this season.

"It took up a little bit of my time just figuring out who I wanted to work with, " Avril said. "So many people were calling and hitting me up about working with them, but unfortunately when a disaster like this happens, a lot of these foundations, a lot of people are pocketing money instead of actually helping. So it was really all about finding the right organizations to work with, and once we did, I’m all in."

This spring was the first time Avril had been to Haiti since he was 15. One of the reasons he and his family would go every summer was to visit his grandmother, but she passed away.

"At the age of 15, when you go to an island and you see what’s going on, you don’t process it the same way as you process it at the age of 30 and you have kids and your view on life is completely different, " Avril said. "So it was definitely very eye-opening, very humbling. And it makes you grateful for everything you have here."

The schools Avril built were not hit by the hurricane, he said.

"My dad wanted me to do some stuff out there before he passed, " Avril said. "I feel like I’ve done a lot of things here in the States. Jacksonville, where I’m from, here, Charlotte. I just felt like I should do something for where it all started, and that was one of the main reasons why I wanted to go back."

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