2015 has been quite the year for starting fullback Patrick DiMarco. The four-year veteran is enjoying national praise for his actions on and off the field.
Selected as the Falcons' nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, the University of South Carolina graduate is well known for his impact and involvement in the community.
Giving back isn't just an activity DiMarco participates in a few times a year; rather it's a moral code that he lives by.
When asked what fuels his passion to impact the community, DiMarco was quick to credit his faith and his wife, Kirstin.
"A lot of it comes from my Christian faith and my Christian background," DiMarco said. "My wife is really big into giving back and before we got married, she wanted to do foundation work. She volunteers at the Children's Health Care of Atlanta and it really kind of sparked a fire in me and encouraged me to get out there and give back more. It's something we live by."
The platform that the NFL provides its players grants them a unique opportunity to reach so many individuals; DiMarco realizes this and takes full advantage of it.
"As a football player, we are given this amazing platform," DiMarco said. "We are able to do what we do, and to give back. Playing football is awesome, but there is a bigger picture to it all."
DiMarco harbors an intense passion for the game of football and is constantly recognized for his selfless leadership and fiery play. His giving and relentless personality is displayed in all aspects of his life.
In just two years in Atlanta, DiMarco has made his mark in the community by hosting or attending numerous events. Tuesday night, the fullback hosted a holiday party for military families that included dinner and a shopping spree for the TAPS organization, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, an organization dedicated to the families of our fallen heroes. DiMarco's face lit up with joy when talking about how heartwarming it was to see the children not only buy gifts for themselves, but for others.
"It really impacts you and brings a smile to your face knowing that you aren't just helping them out, you are helping other families out," DiMarco said.
He also recently hosted a Thanksgiving Dinner with teammate Jacob Tamme for 125 men from the Atlanta Mission, and was one of nine players to participate in the Dazzle and Dine event.
"Giving back to me is what it's all about, being able to go out into the community to show love and encouragement to those who are in need is an experience I will cherish forever," DiMarco said.
Being nominated for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award means the world to DiMarco, and much like everything else he does in life, he doesn't take it for granted for one second.
"It's a true honor," DiMarco said of the nomination for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. "It's the elite of the elite. It's one of the best awards out there and to be able to win it would be awesome, but just to be brought up in the group of guys who are up for the award is awesome too. I'm really excited about the opportunity and I am going to continue to do what I do."