INDIANAPOLIS — Colts defender Yannick Ngakoue is new to the team this season and he has gone to social media to learn as much as he can about his new hometown.
Things like looking for restaurant recommendations and what to do with his free time.
With one single tweet a couple of weeks ago, Ngakoue created a groundswell of support for Hoosier teachers.
Hey @Colts Nation - where are my LOCAL teachers at ? With school right around the corner and knowing the challenges of what you face getting the proper items in your classroom - I want to help . Please drop your Amazon Wishlists 👇🏾 so I can take a look - surprises are my thing 💯
— Yannick Ngakoue (@YannickNgakoue) August 5, 2022
“Teachers are one of the biggest superheroes we have in this country,” Ngakoue said. “They got to chip into their own pocket to make sure guys coming from my similar background have food, extra things to learn and gain knowledge – so I am just really excited about it.”
Ngakoue’s callout to help started with a few responses but turned into more than a thousand replies with requests for school supplies both big and small – showing a huge need from educators in Indiana and beyond.
“I was just pulling from my heart,” Ngakoue said. “I didn’t know it was going to make a big impact like that. It is just me trying my best to be of service to this community and to be a serving leader.”
After the responses, Ngakoue got the ball rolling and the gift boxes began arriving.
Muncie kindergarten teacher Erin Eads received hers just before the first day of classes.
“I was honestly kind of emotional about it,” Eads said. “Because it is just so sweet and so thoughtful that someone who doesn’t even know my school, kids, my circumstances or their circumstances would use that platform.”
Jennifer Bishop, a third-grade teacher in Wayne Township, also received a gift box from No. 91.
“We start every day with a community circle,” Bishop said. “I had (the box) out and everyone was really excited. I had his picture on the screen for them and it just got them so excited. They know and love the Colts and liked that someone they look up to took the time to help us.”
Ngakoue explained how giving to local teachers fills his heart with joy.
“It felt awesome,” Ngakoue said. “Being that guy that had to rotate two school uniform pants and one t-shirt every day – it just means the world to give back to kids.”
Ngakoue said he immediately feels at home in Indianapolis.
“This just feels like home for me,” Ngakoue said. “There’s just a different vibe here. Everybody has humility and there’s no egos so I just felt like it was my duty to put my best foot forward and make an impact in this community.”
Ngakoue and the Colts continue training camp this week and next as the NFL regular season continues to quickly approach.