Keion Carpenter remembered for charity work

Posted at 4:55 PM, Dec 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-29 17:40:58-05

They say the true measure of a man is in how many lives he was able to touch.

If so, Keion Carpenter did more in his just 39 years than many people dare to achieve in our lifetimes.

 "There is no way to accurately measure the kind of impact that Keion had on this city because there were so many levels to it," former NFL player and friend Aaron Maybin said.

Maybin, also from Baltimore, was Carpenter's partner in charity.

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Carpenter played for the Buffalo Bills and Atlanta Falcons, but is best known for starting The Carpenter House, an umbrella organization that includes mentoring, summer football camps, the shutdown academy for underprivileged Baltimore boys and girls and a holiday toy, food and clothing drive.

It is one thing to be known for what you did…and another for what you do.

"Here is an example of a guy that's played in the NFL [but] that was just the smallest part of the type of man that he was, of the type of impact that he had on the city of Baltimore. You have thousands of thousands of people that owe a great deal to Keion for his selflessness and for his vision," Maybin said.

"He meant a lot to a lot of young people and a lot of families,” friend and spokesperson for Baltimore Police T.J. Smith said, “and most people don’t get to see the behind the scenes stuff and the things that go into it."            

Smith saw it.

The spokesperson for the Baltimore Police Department went to Woodlawn High School with Carpenter and often helped him with his events, like the black tie charity event in Mondawmin Mall last summer.

Smith says Carpenter used his celebrity and his platform to affect real change for real people.

"This is what his life had become. This is what his life was about and I think that is why so many people are touched by his death because they got to see the works in action...literally up to the last minute," he said. 

Mayor Catherine Pugh released a statement on Carpenter’s sudden death:

It’s with a heavy heart that I extend condolences to the immediate and extended family of one of Baltimore’s most influential native sons, Keion Carpenter. Keion knew the power of his platform, and used his opportunity and talents to not only inspire, but transform the lives of thousands of children and families. His talent on the turf gained him national notoriety as an accomplished athlete, and at home, he won our hearts as a beloved community champion with an uncompromising will to reclaim neglected neighborhoods and improve the lives of the underprivileged. From helping families achieve life-long dreams of becoming  first-time homeowners through Carpenter House Communities, to teaching girls and boys how to reach their fullest potential through the Shutdown Academy - he was limitless in the ways he sought to be a positive influence in Baltimore and beyond.  There is a piece of Keion that lives in us all, and though he will be sorely missed, his legacy is everlasting through the good deeds and people he impacted throughout his life. May we all honor the legacy of Keion Carpenter by making our communities greater than what we inherited. Thank you Keion for sharing your gifts with us.

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