In the wake of the "Minneapolis Miracle" Sunday that advanced Minnesota to the NFC Championship game, Vikings fans have gone to work in supporting miracles of a different kind.
There was plenty of competition on the field at U.S. Bank Stadium, but off the field, Saints punter Thomas Morstead has been amazed at the generosity of opposing fans.
Morstead suffered torn cartilage on the right side of his ribs during the game, but he continued to play throughout the evening and was the first Saints player to return to the field for the NFL-mandated conversion to officially end the game.
According to the foundation's website, a Vikings fan published a post on Reddit that encouraged fans to donate to What You Give Will Grow to honor Morstead's effort in the playoff game and the sportsmanship he demonstrated following Stefon Diggs' walk-off touchdown.
In response to the generosity shown by Vikings fans, Morstead is turning the donation back around to benefit the Twin Cities community.
"Since we played in the Divisional game against the Vikings, there's been hundreds and hundreds of people donating to our foundation online, and I'm just really blown away by it. Then yesterday I realized that they are all coming from Minnesota, which is pretty crazy," Morstead said in a video posted to his website. "We are going to take all the money that's donated so far and through the end of this week, and we're going to write a check back to the Children's Hospital in Minnesota, because that's where all the money's from. Just really blown away by everybody."
Morstead announced that the final donation will go specifically to the child life program at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. Child life programs provide emotional support for children and families and coordinate activities at their respective facilities to bring joy to young patients. Child life programs are one of the focuses of What You Give Will Grow.
"What You Give Will Grow was built on the thought that giving back, at any level, makes a difference not only to those receiving the gesture, but in regards to inspiring others to do the same," said Morstead. "It's humbling to have fans from an opposing team doing something like this – it just shows that football is more than a game and it really is a community.
"Minnesota fans had no idea when they made donations that it would come back to their own community," added Morstead. "But what you give does really grow, and we're honored to be able to support the child life program at Children's Minnesota – this is what our foundation is all about."