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Anquan Boldin knows what it’s like to grow up without having much.
The Ravens wide receiver was raised in the impoverished area of Pahokee, Florida, where he had the basic necessities, but not much more.
“I had a roof over my head, I had clothes on my back, I had food on my table,” Boldin said. “Sometimes I didn’t know where my next meal was coming from, but God always provided for me.”
Knowing those challenges is a big reason Boldin has partnered with Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald to take a trip to east Africa next week to raise awareness about drought and famine in the region.
“It’s not often that you get this opportunity and I expect it to be life changing,” Boldin said on Friday. “I know what it feels like to go without, but my situation doesn’t even compare to theirs.”
Boldin and Fitzgerald are scheduled to leave for the four-day trip on Monday, and they will travel to Ethiopia with the international relief organization Oxfam.
During the trip, they will visit villages, meet with local athletes and take part in manual labor to bring basic necessities to those in the communities.
“It’s going over there and listening, going into the camps and helping feed people, digging wells to try to get people water,” Boldin said. “It’s a variety of things.”
Boldin and Fitzgerald were teammates in Arizona for six seasons, and they have remained close friends since Boldin was traded to Baltimore in 2010. Both receivers are involved in a variety of community service activities – Boldin started his Q81 Foundation – and they saw teaming up as a way to reach a larger audience.
“We both do a lot of things in our communities, but we just came up with the idea that by partnering up and doing something together, we could make a bigger impact,” Boldin said. “And this was the perfect opportunity.”
Boldin and Fitzgerald first teamed up with Oxfam in November and produced a public service announcement (watch video) urging people to donate to the organization.
Now, they will get a chance to see the organization’s mission up close, which Boldin is expecting to be an eye-opening experience.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” Boldin said. “But for me, it’s always been about helping people ever since I came into the league and I’ve been in a position where I’ve felt like I could help others. It’s something that’s been on my heart.”