Mark Ingram’s return to the New Orleans Saints was met with huge fanfare from the city’s faithful. Not only were the Saints getting back a popular player, but an excellent ambassador to the community as well.
Ingram has already made a significant impact on the city of New Orleans since his return. The Saints running back partnered with Microban 24 to donate $10,000 to the 18th Ward Sports Club in New Orleans, a nonprofit organization that provides high-quality and low-cost youth sports programs in New Orleans. Everyone is welcome regardless of race, gender, income, or neighborhood.
“I’m all about giving back to the community and all about protection,” Ingram said to CBS Sports. “I’m just thankful we have similar interests and they’re considering me as a partner. The Saints picked a great nonprofit organization that’s in the community.”
In addition to the donation, Ingram and Microban 24 are donating a year’s supply of Microban 24 to the 18th Ward in order to keep kids protected. During a pandemic, spraying surfaces and killing bacteria are preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the club — giving children a safe harbor to participate in youth sports.
“We just had mutual interest and it started up from there,” Ingram said. “Microban 24 is the official sanitizer spray of the NFL. Long-lasting protection against bacteria, spray your surface and bacteria goes away for 24 hours. Everyone needs protection right now. I need protection.
“Whatever you feel needs to be cleaned. I put it on the helmet and the shoes (prior to a game). Whatever you feel needs to be cleaned. Whatever bacteria you feel needs to be killed, you spray it. That’s how I do it.”
The 18th Ward Sports Club works with kids between four and eight years old and provides high-quality programs and trained coaches to make sure kids have fun and learn the foundational skills to feel successful in sports. Fewer than 20% of kids in Orleans Parish (the city limits) are active in sports, and children from low-income families are 30% less likely to participate. Per the 18th Ward Sports Club, 40% of teenage girls do not participate in sports compared to 25% of teenage boys.
Ingram wants the percentage numbers to go up and have more children participate in youth sports. Having protection from bacteria could get more participation in youth sports during a pandemic, part of Ingram’s mission to encourage more children to play sports.
“They do a great job of helping kids play sports, play football,” Ingram said. “Just being able to make a positive impact in the New Orleans community is something I want to be a part of.”