Merriman to Hold Annual Coat Drive
Nov. 14, 2012
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Former Maryland standout and current Buffalo Bills linebacker Shawne Merriman will hold his annual Coat Drive on Saturday, Nov. 17 prior to the Maryland-Florida State game at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for noon EDT.
Over the past 10 years, Merriman and his Lights On Foundation have collected over 20,000 coats to benefit numerous communities in the DMV area. This year, Merriman's efforts will be focused on assisting those who were recently affected by Hurricane Sandy in the New York and New Jersey area.
Merriman has partnered with the Maryland athletics department, University Relations and DOTS (Department of Transportation Services) and will be joined by Maryland student-athletes to collect gently-used coats, hats, scarves and other cold weather clothing at all entrances of Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium.
"We are encouraging Terp Nation to please donate warm clothing items for those affected by Hurricane Sandy," said Merriman. "Many families were affected by this devastating storm and we want to do our part to help. I am appreciative of the partnership with the Maryland athletic department, DOTS and University Relations in this very important campus-wide initiative."
Merriman enjoyed a distinguished career at the University of Maryland, where he was tabbed a first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection after his junior season. He totaled 189 tackles, 22 sacks and 32.5 tackles for a loss in 39 career games with 17 starts. Originally selected in the first round (12th overall) in the 2005 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers, Merriman was a three-time All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection with San Diego prior to joining the Bills in 2010. In his eight NFL seasons, Merriman has notched 44.5 sacks in 63 career games (58 starts).
A native of Washington, D.C., Merriman was honored as the Associated Press Maryland Defensive Player of the Year as a senior out of Frederick Douglas High School in Upper Marlboro.
Merriman's Lights On Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life for youth and to help the homeless. He donates time, money and other resources throughout the country by increasing opportunities for children to lead healthy and fulfilling lives through his foundation. By building corporate partnerships within the community, Merriman is able to provide financial assistance to projects focusing primarily on helping the homeless and children in need.