Cliff Avril is a man of his word. The Haitian-American Seahawks defensive end fulfilled his promise to build new homes in Haiti following Hurricane Matthew.
Last season, the Seahawks defensive end promised he’d build a home in Haiti for each sack he had in the 2016 season, Avril finished the year with 11.5 sacks, and he followed through with 12 houses built-in Haiti.
In an interview with ESPN, Avril talked about meeting the families who now live in the homes he had built. He said each home was built with the “concept of community” and there’s a kitchen in the middle of each one.
“Their old home was right next door to the one we built,” Avril told ESPN.com. “They didn’t have cement floors, so they were literally sleeping on the floor. When it rained during hurricane season, the floor would get really muddy. And that’s what they were sleeping on. There’s another home next to it. The concept is community. There will be a kitchen in the middle where they provide for each other.”
Avril also renovated schools down there, investing in education.
Avril is leaning toward making the same pledge for next season, building more homes and more schools, and eventually visiting Haiti multiple times per year.
Avril’s parents are Haitian and left the country in the 1980s to come to the United States. Avril’s father died of a heart attack two years ago and didn’t get to see his son giving back to his home country but the defensive end said his dad would be proud.
“People ask why I want to go back,” he said. “I could have easily been one of those Haitian kids. I was just fortunate enough that my mom was able to make it to the States, and we made something happen. But I could have easily been one of those kids.”
Avril also partnered with fellow NFL players Michael Bennett, Marshawn Lynch, Gosder Cherlius, Stephen Tulloch and Leger Douzable for one of his recent trips to Haiti. Avril has also funded the construction of three new buildings at a school with eight new classrooms and supplied an orphanage with clean water for all of last year with the intention to continue this year.
Congratulations Cliff, this is what Haitian-Americans paying it forward is all about!!