Former Fighting Irish player makes it his mission to give back through Acts of Service
ELKHART, Ind. -- At Notre Dame, it's about a lot more than just winning football games. Coaches and staff also hope to help build players' character by teaching them the importance of giving back. And one former Fighting Irish player, who calls Michiana home, is a prime example of that.
You may remember Braxston Cave from his time playing under the Friday Night Lights at Penn Harris Madison. Or maybe taking off out of the tunnel at Notre Dame Stadium on a sunny Saturday. But most recently, you've likely run into the former offensive lineman out and about in the community he calls home.
We caught up with him at Elkhart's Cleveland Elementary.
"Just giving these students an environment to where they feel comfortable to come in and learn and there's nothing better than coming in somewhere, where you enjoy learning," Cave said.
Much like his days on the field at Notre Dame Stadium, today Cave plays an integral role in community service groups like Acts of Service.
"Braxston has been a huge asset to Acts of Service, working with the schools, getting involved, sharing his story, and getting people excited about giving back," Director of Acts of Service Michilah Grimes said.
"They're the ones putting in all the work, and then they call me in when they need a little muscle," Cave modestly adds.
That muscle and talent even earned Cave some time playing for the Detroit Lions a few years back.
Despite his accomplishments, Braxston stays humble and grounded. Both characteristics are something he credits to his hometown roots.
"I'm just like everyone else, you know? I grew up here in the area and did just like so many kids these days. The kids and people that grow up to be successful and the ones that don't, it's just the small decisions that you make growing up," Cave said.
He says he recognizes he was fortunate enough to make the "right" small decisions, thanks to his family helping to steer him toward his own path to success.
"That's kind of been the core values of my family. We donated time. We're heavily involved with our church. Donating time and then helping others out has always been in our core foundation," Cave said.
Today, he carries on that tradition. Although, he's playing for a new team.
"You know that's kind of been my biggest thing all along, is taking care of a community that's really embraced and taken care of me,"
Cave says he hope to help Acts of Service and other charities forge a path to a promising future, for years to come.
"The more I can do, to give back, especially to the younger generations, it sets us all up for success in the future," Cave said.
Acts of Service helped to install 40 chairs for Cleveland Elementary's library. It's just one of the many projects Acts of Service will be helping the Elkhart Education Foundation with this year. They also hope to renovate 14 other libraries in the school district by the end of 2018.