In The Spirit Of Giving

Two NFL Players Help Transition A Family Out Of Homelessness With A Fully Furnished Home

"Just seeing [their] faces is worth more than I ever had."

We love tinsel and trappings as much as the next Elf on the Shelf devotees, but here at A Plus, we believe that true wintertime magic comes in the form of connection and human kindness. Over the next month, come back and join us in raising a glass to those who give — because what's December without a little holiday spirit?

Thanks to Rams Tavon Austin and Robert Quinn — and the nonprofit organization LA Family Housing (LAFH) — Shwonna Cox and her six children are heading to a new home. This is the second year that Austin and Quinn teamed up with LA Family Housing to help a family transition out of homelessness, the L.A. Times reports. 

"Robert Quinn and Tavon Austin both separately approached Rams' management last year wanting to give back," Ella Boyajian, director of community engagement at LA Family Housing, tells A Plus in an email. "Last year the men furnished an apartment for the Carter family. The players enjoyed it so much they wanted to do it again this year!"

According to Boyajian, the Cox family was forced to evacuate their home due to the Creek Fire in California. 

"They left so quickly that some of the children didn't have shoes or jackets on. Shwonna worried about what she was leaving behind: birth certificates, cash, clothing. She wondered what the damage could be to the few things she owned. She was quickly moved into an apartment, but with very few things — mattresses and sheets but no furniture, no dishware, no clothing." 

Unfortunately, the Cox family had to move again due to another fire near the apartment, leaving behind the little she had and dealing with the pressures of providing for her family, Boyajian explains. 

But thanks to the Rams and Quinn and Austin's donations, Cox has since been moved into a new, furnished home. 

"Tavon and Austin have brought transformational change to two LAFH families now by making a house into a home. Shwonna and her kids, like the Carter family before them, will now be able to focus on the important things — work, school, family togetherness. They will not have to worry about furnishing an entire four-bedroom apartment. They have all they need to be comfortable and safe, this holiday and beyond. Robert and Tavon have greatly impacted these lives and have also been examples in our community ... they are showing all Angelenos that it is important to care for our brothers and sisters challenged by homelessness. They are reminding us to think of others and to take action to help. We can all do something," Boyajian says.

In a video shared on Austin's Instagram account, Austin and Quinn hold up a mat that reads "HOME," with a heart in place of the "O." 

"Home sweet home," Austin says. Then came the surprise reveal. 

"My heart is Different!!!!!" he captions on the post. "Just seeing [their] faces is worth more than I ever had."

"When you're blessed as tremendously as we are as athletes, and what we get paid to do and all that, and you have an opportunity to give back and bless people that have come up through some hard times, you give back and try to make their lives a little bit easier," Quinn tells the L.A. Times. "Like I always say, if together we as a people work together, we can bring heaven on earth. So this is just my start of trying to put heaven here."

Boyajian tells A Plus that the Cox family "is doing well," and that they are "excited for a new year in a new home." 

"Shwonna is looking forward to the future — sustaining stability with employment and building a good life for her children. The kids are especially excited to open their presents on Christmas Day!"

Welcome home, Cox family! 

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