Behind the wide-reaching charity work of Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander, who ‘backs up his promises every time’

BUFFALO,​ N.Y.​ — Lorenzo Alexander​ is​ a man​ of his word.​ When the​ Bills linebacker promised to take​ a group​ of kids​​ from Buffalo’s South Park High School back-to-school shopping and buy them all new pairs of sneakers, he did it. And when he offered to take the entire South Park football team to see “Black Panther” when the Oscar-nominated movie first came out, he not only bought the tickets, he sat with team.

When you talk to the people whose lives Alexander has touched, you understand that the 12-year NFL veteran’s philanthropy isn’t like that of most athletes. It’s not for show.

“I never thought I’d ever have time to chill with an NFL player,” says 18-year-old South Park student Mykel Wingham, with his eye wide. “He took us to the movies, took us to a bowling event with some of the other Bills players. He also took some of us to a training camp at New Era Field. He worked with us like it was a regular NFL practice. He told us if we had any questions, or if we didn’t have anyone to talk to at home, to contact him. And he bought us hats, cleats and shoes. Anything you could ask for.”

Wingham was impressed by Alexander’s actions; but it was Alexander’s words that stood out to him the most.

“He talked about going down the right path, the focus and being able to dream,” Wingham said. “He’s been a good mentor and a good motivator for us.”

When Alexander talks to kids, he isn’t just spouting advice or playing to the crowd. He’s preaching what he’s learned from his own worn path, pulling anecdotes from his own life. His words carry weight because he remembers how hard he had to work to get where he is now — going from an inner-city kid to an undrafted practice squad member to an All-Pro starter in the NFL.

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