BOSTON (CBS) — As the star cornerback of the New England Patriots, Stephon Gilmore is used to taking a hands-on approach with just about everything. That goes far beyond football, and includes his charitable endeavors.

But with the coronavirus pandemic keeping everyone inside and away from others, that approach has been somewhat difficult over the last month. But it didn’t stop Gilmore’s desire to help those in need, so he’s doing what he can from afar.

On Friday, Gilmore and UnitedHealthcare of New England teamed up to make a $24,000 donation to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston.

“It’s very big for me. With everything going on and a lot of people in less fortunate situations, it just felt right in my heart to give and try to help as much as I can,” Gilmore told WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche. “There’s a lot of people who aren’t able to work and provide for their family,, so it’s a blessing for me and I hope it helps as much as it can.”

Those funds will be distributed in the form of grocery and pharmacy gift cards to local families who need financial support to navigate the pandemic. The donation will help families put over 5,000 meals on their tables.

“We’re all in this together,” he added. “We’re isolated and I wish I was there to actually help out physically. I’m more of a hands-on type of guy, but the situation is what it is. Hopefully I can help out those families.”

While football is far from anyone’s mind at the moment, Gilmore is working hard to be ready for the 2020 season. That has proven to be a bit difficult with gyms and fields closed everywhere.

“It’s tough. I have a couple of workout things in my garage and I work out there. I try to go to the field when nobody is out there and work out on my own,” he said. “Things are closed so you have to do everything on your own.

“This will allow us to have a better appreciation for things in life, just enjoying life,” he said. “When something happens like this and everything gets taken away that you’d normally do, you appreciate things more.”

With his kids yelling in the background as he spoke to Rochie on the phone, Gilmore joked: “You appreciate daycare and school now, too.”

This has been a much different offseason for the Patriots. With Tom Brady leaving the only team he’s ever played for to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the pundits are celebrating the end of the New England dynasty.

Granted, this is nothing new for the Patriots. And Gilmore is ready to prove the doubters wrong yet again.

“I mean, I feel like every year it starts over. No matter where you’re at, every team starts 0-0. You have to prove yourselves every year,” he said. “The team that works hard and prepares, gels together as a team, that’s who is going to win no matter who is where. At the end of the day, it comes down to that.”

 

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