Saints running back Mark Ingram has been chosen as the team's nominee for the NFL's Walker Payton Man of the Year Award.
The award, named after the former Chicago Bears Hall of Fame running back, is given to a player based on outstanding community service activities off the field and excellence on the field.
Ingram, in his eighth season in the league, started the Mark Ingram Foundation as a rookie. The foundation helps children who have an incarcerated parent have a special holiday.
"It’s something that’s dear to my heart, something that I lived through with my father being incarcerated for a number of my years growing up," Ingram said in a statement on the team's web site. "Despite that he was my number one supporter, mentor and advisor. My aim is that for these kids even if they have a parent or two that are incarcerated, they can still have a great relationship with them and still accomplish the goals and achieve the aspirations that they want. They have to keep their goals high, keep close to the ones around them and their guardians and stay away from the wrong crowd.”
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Each child is partnered with a Saints player or volunteer to choose gifts for themselves and their family. Ingram also sponsors an annual back to school give away.
Ingram has rushed for 467 yards and four touchdowns this season and is 268 yards shy of surpassing Deuce McAllister as the team's all-time leading rusher.
The NFL announced all 32 team's nominees for the award on Thursday.
The winner will be announced on Feb. 2 during the NFL Honors award show.
Drew Brees won the award in 2006 and is the only Saints player to win the award that started in 1970.