For the moment, Pierre Desir is a lot like the rest of us.
The Colts cornerback is spending most of his time at home, hanging out with his kids, helping them with the e-learning they’ve been assigned since schools closed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, trying to find a way to work out and stay in shape with gyms across the country closed.
Trying to find a way to help.
Desir found it Wednesday. He’d been talking with his agency, Enter Sports Management, about a possible outreach, saw the $1 million donation Colts owner Jim Irsay made to Gleaners Food Bank this week.
“For me, I understand that most of the kids in the poverty-stricken areas of St. Louis, the meals that they get at school are very important to them,” Desir said. “I just wanted to do my part. I reached out to the St. Louis Food Bank to see what I could do to help.”
Then Desir pledged a donation large enough to provide more than 20,000 meals to struggling families during this crisis.
Desir, who was born in Haiti and moved to St. Louis at the age of four, has a deep love for the city he was raised. Ever since he made it in the NFL, he’s found ways to reach back out to his home community. Desir washed the feet of students and gave them shoes at Northview Elementary, in a story first reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and he made a $185,000 donation to his high school, Francis Howell Central, to build a performance center last year.
“Being in a different city in Indy, and then being able to come back home, I just want the community to know that even though I don’t live there year-round, that I still care for them,” Desir said. “I’ll do whatever I can to help.”
The Colts cornerback does plenty in Indianapolis, too. Desir puts shoes on the feet of 1,000 Indianapolis kids each holiday season through Samaritan’s Feet, has a ticket block at Lucas Oil Stadium for the Dream Alive Foundation, hosts a Thanksgiving meal distribution.
For all of those efforts, Desir was the Colts’ Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee last year.
And he’s the kind of person who has to jump in and help when a crisis happens, when the full effects of the coronavirus pandemic began to slam into cities across the country this week.
The St. Louis Food Bank was happy to hear him call.
“They have over 10,000 people in need of service,” Desir said. “Once I heard that, I just said, what can I do?”
Desir’s donation will go a long way.
And it might not be the last thing he does in the middle of this crisis.
“That’s a good start,” Desir said. “But I’m going to be in touch with them, reach out to different groups and see what I can do.”
He’s already doing an awful lot.
Indianapolis Colts cornerback Pierre Desir (35) takes a photo with a fan before the start of their game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, CA., on Sunday, Sept., 8, 2019. (Photo: Jenna Watson/IndyStar)