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Pay it Forward: Saint with troubled past helps family in need

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; by Bradley Handwerger / WWL-TV.com Sports Writer Posted on December 11, 2009 at 8:53 AM Updated today at 10:05 AM METAIRIE, La. – When Ben Aucoin asked Anthony Hargrove for a little help in the Walmart parking lot one night ...

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Old 12-11-2009, 12:48 PM   #1
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by Bradley Handwerger / WWL-TV.com Sports Writer

Posted on December 11, 2009 at 8:53 AM

Updated today at 10:05 AM

METAIRIE, La. – When Ben Aucoin asked Anthony Hargrove for a little help in the Walmart parking lot one night earlier this week, the Bridge City, La., native had no idea who he was talking to.

Now there’s no way he’ll ever forget who Hargrove is.

In a season of giving, the Saints defensive lineman gave a New Orleans metro-area family more than a win. He gave the Aucoin family hope.

And money.

Hargrove doled out three $100 bills to Aucoin, helping keep the lights on for the Aucoin family and giving them a Christmas they’ll likely remember forever.

“You have no idea,” said Kandis Aucoin, Ben’s wife. “It was like a gift from God. It’s amazing how bad we needed this. It’s Christmas time. I can’t ever describe the feeling. Even my husband was in tears.”

The Aucoin family was in dire straits. Ben Aucoin, 23, lost his job as a steel worker three weeks ago. Two weeks ago, their car broke down. And today, their lights were scheduled to be turned off because of their failure to pay the bill.

Indeed, Hargrove, 26, became the anti-Scrooge without a second thought.

“He was asking for change for diapers for his kids,” Hargrove said. “They have like a light bill or something. There were a lot of things going on. I had a little bit of extra money on me.”

The Aucoin’s have four children – Justin, 8; Patience, 7; Devon, 4; and Dylan, 2 – and were wondering how they were going to survive without money coming in.

That it was Hargrove handing out the money shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows his story.

The first-year Saints player signed with the franchise in May for a reported $850,000. It was a gamble for a player who was coming off a year-long suspension by the league for taking banned substances.

As a child, he spent time homeless in New York with his mother and siblings before moving to Florida, where he became a major college recruit, signing a scholarship with Georgia Tech. He flunked out of the Atlanta college, yet still was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in 2004.

Traded to the Buffalo Bills in his third season, he finally was suspended for the entirety of 2008 after testing positive for a banned substance.

Nevertheless, the Saints gave Hargrove a shot and he has responded, becoming a fan favorite while recording 46 tackles, three sacks and three fumble recoveries to go along with an NFC Defensive Player of the Week honor this year.

So, Hargrove understood where Aucoin was coming from.

“For me, it goes back to when I was homeless and living in the streets with my mother and my brother and my sister,” Hargrove said. “It’s hard to go out there and people you don’t know and don’t know you and you’re a mess and all you really want it is just even a quarter. And a quarter to four quarters equals a dollar and a dollar can maybe get you something to drink.”

Hargrove regularly attends anonymous addiction meetings, helping to keep him sober and off of drugs, and he said he believes in the thought of “paying it forward.”

That belief, however, isn’t the only thing that guided him in the merriest of gift-giving endeavors.

“I’m a believer of Christ and Christ says what you do unto least you do unto him,” Hargrove said. “Somebody has helped me get to where I’m at. Somebody sat down and prayed for me or did something for me to help me get to where I am today. I saw an opportunity to help get somebody something.”

How did the not-so-secret Santa do his deed?

Well, Aucoin walked up to Hargrove and the player’s friend in the parking lot of the Harahan, La., Walmart and asked for some change. Hargrove’s friend turned Aucoin down first, but once the Saint heard what was going on, he pulled out the cash and handed it over.

“He just said watch the game, dude,” Kandis Aucoin, 24, said. “My husband was like, ‘What game?’ He said, ‘The Saints game.’ ”

When all was said and done, Hargrove had given the Aucoin’s $300 as well as an autographed T-shirt for Kandis’ father. He’d also given them a new perspective.

“Look at him – the Saints are sitting here winning all these games and he’s sitting here shopping at Walmart, handing money out to random people,” Kandis Aucoin said. “He’s just an awesome guy.”

Last edited by papz; 12-24-2011 at 06:47 PM..
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Old 12-11-2009, 12:52 PM   #2
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Re: Pay it Forward: Saint with troubled past helps family in need

Originally Posted by papz View Post
“I’m a believer of Christ and Christ says what you do unto least you do unto him,” Hargrove said. “Somebody has helped me get to where I’m at. Somebody sat down and prayed for me or did something for me to help me get to where I am today. I saw an opportunity to help get somebody something.”
Amen to that brother. Great story, and I hope Anthony continues to stay on the straight and narrow.
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Old 12-11-2009, 01:28 PM   #3
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Re: Pay it Forward: Saint with troubled past helps family in need

I'm glad we have guys like this on the team. It's great to have guys that know how lucky they are to have the money they do and be willing to share that with those who are less fortunate.

This wasn't a publicity stunt to get some positive attention. Hargrove showed that everyone should help those less fortunate than themselves.
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Old 12-11-2009, 05:43 PM   #4
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Re: Pay it Forward: Saint with troubled past helps family in need

I loved reading this. Hargrove seems to have shed his bad character image more and more as the season has progressed. Helping a family out in time of need really makes me think of him much more than a football player. He's a good human being.
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Old 12-11-2009, 07:47 PM   #5
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Re: Pay it Forward: Saint with troubled past helps family in need

good story to read. thanks
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Old 12-11-2009, 11:14 PM   #6
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Re: Pay it Forward: Saint with troubled past helps family in need

Great story. It almost brought a tear to my eyes . " Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it." May God Bless you Anthony.
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Old 12-12-2009, 09:08 AM   #7
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Re: Pay it Forward: Saint with troubled past helps family in need

Originally Posted by QBREES9 View Post
Great story. It almost brought a tear to my eyes . " Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it." May God Bless you Anthony.
~WONDERFUL READ~
I just CAN'T say enough, word's CAN'T express the
(Thought's, Emotion's & all around Respect) I have for this guy.
I can't say enough about him, all B/S aside & im NOT just say'n this becuz I'm a $A!NT'z fan & have been say'n this for quit awhile now... Without a doubt, hand's down & NO question's asked...............
~{{ Comeback Player Of The Year }}~

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Old 12-12-2009, 09:13 AM   #8
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Re: Pay it Forward: Saint with troubled past helps family in need

Hargrove is my patron Saint. The more I read about him the more I like him.

He has overcome his troubles with dignity and faith. He seems as real as they come.
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Old 12-12-2009, 09:20 AM   #9
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Re: Pay it Forward: Saint with troubled past helps family in need

God bless you Anthony Hargrove. St. Francis of Assisi is quoted as having said. "Preach the kingdom of God always. And use words if you must." You preached the word, not from a pulpit, but by opening your heart to a suffering man. God bless you.
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Old 12-12-2009, 09:35 AM   #10
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Re: Pay it Forward: Saint with troubled past helps family in need

Originally Posted by papz View Post
by Bradley Handwerger / WWL-TV.com Sports Writer

Posted on December 11, 2009 at 8:53 AM

Updated today at 10:05 AM

METAIRIE, La. – When Ben Aucoin asked Anthony Hargrove for a little help in the Walmart parking lot one night earlier this week, the Bridge City, La., native had no idea who he was talking to.

Now there’s no way he’ll ever forget who Hargrove is.

In a season of giving, the Saints defensive lineman gave a New Orleans metro-area family more than a win. He gave the Aucoin family hope.

And money.

Hargrove doled out three $100 bills to Aucoin, helping keep the lights on for the Aucoin family and giving them a Christmas they’ll likely remember forever.

“You have no idea,” said Kandis Aucoin, Ben’s wife. “It was like a gift from God. It’s amazing how bad we needed this. It’s Christmas time. I can’t ever describe the feeling. Even my husband was in tears.”

The Aucoin family was in dire straits. Ben Aucoin, 23, lost his job as a steel worker three weeks ago. Two weeks ago, their car broke down. And today, their lights were scheduled to be turned off because of their failure to pay the bill.

Indeed, Hargrove, 26, became the anti-Scrooge without a second thought.

“He was asking for change for diapers for his kids,” Hargrove said. “They have like a light bill or something. There were a lot of things going on. I had a little bit of extra money on me.”

The Aucoin’s have four children – Justin, 8; Patience, 7; Devon, 4; and Dylan, 2 – and were wondering how they were going to survive without money coming in.

That it was Hargrove handing out the money shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows his story.

The first-year Saints player signed with the franchise in May for a reported $850,000. It was a gamble for a player who was coming off a year-long suspension by the league for taking banned substances.

As a child, he spent time homeless in New York with his mother and siblings before moving to Florida, where he became a major college recruit, signing a scholarship with Georgia Tech. He flunked out of the Atlanta college, yet still was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in 2004.

Traded to the Buffalo Bills in his third season, he finally was suspended for the entirety of 2008 after testing positive for a banned substance.

Nevertheless, the Saints gave Hargrove a shot and he has responded, becoming a fan favorite while recording 46 tackles, three sacks and three fumble recoveries to go along with an NFC Defensive Player of the Week honor this year.

So, Hargrove understood where Aucoin was coming from.

“For me, it goes back to when I was homeless and living in the streets with my mother and my brother and my sister,” Hargrove said. “It’s hard to go out there and people you don’t know and don’t know you and you’re a mess and all you really want it is just even a quarter. And a quarter to four quarters equals a dollar and a dollar can maybe get you something to drink.”

Hargrove regularly attends anonymous addiction meetings, helping to keep him sober and off of drugs, and he said he believes in the thought of “paying it forward.”

That belief, however, isn’t the only thing that guided him in the merriest of gift-giving endeavors.

“I’m a believer of Christ and Christ says what you do unto least you do unto him,” Hargrove said. “Somebody has helped me get to where I’m at. Somebody sat down and prayed for me or did something for me to help me get to where I am today. I saw an opportunity to help get somebody something.”

How did the not-so-secret Santa do his deed?

Well, Aucoin walked up to Hargrove and the player’s friend in the parking lot of the Harahan, La., Walmart and asked for some change. Hargrove’s friend turned Aucoin down first, but once the Saint heard what was going on, he pulled out the cash and handed it over.

“He just said watch the game, dude,” Kandis Aucoin, 24, said. “My husband was like, ‘What game?’ He said, ‘The Saints game.’ ”

When all was said and done, Hargrove had given the Aucoin’s $300 as well as an autographed T-shirt for Kandis’ father. He’d also given them a new perspective.

“Look at him – the Saints are sitting here winning all these games and he’s sitting here shopping at Walmart, handing money out to random people,” Kandis Aucoin said. “He’s just an awesome guy.”
Man this guy continues to inspire me. I want him to continue having success with us!!
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