Cal's Elijah Hicks Named to Good Works Team for Off-the-Field Service

Jake Curtis

Cal senior safety Elijah Hicks, who helped raise $60,000 to assist families affected by COVID-19 and founded a nonprofit that focused on fighting poverty, was one of 22 football players nationwide named to the 2020 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team for his off-the-field efforts in community service.

The announcement on Wednesday named the 11 FBS players and 11 players from the combined categories of FCS, Divisions II, Division III and NAIA who were selected for the Good Works Team. (Click here for all 22 selections plus a coach.)

Hicks is the fifth Cal player to be named to the Good Works Team, joining Patrick Laird (2018), Marcel Dancy (2019), Nick Forbes (2013) and Jeffrey Coprich (2014).

Hicks’ involvement in the No Kid Hungry effort began after speaking with his father.

“I have 10 siblings and quite a few of them are still in elementary school, and they were relying on free reduced lunch,” Hicks said in the video. “And because of the pandemic and schools shutting down, they were no longer able to get those things. So I wanted to create something to help low-income families and children during this time. With the help of [former Cal safety] Ashtyn Davis, he helped me find No Kids Hungry.”

Hicks found that organization aligned with what he had in mind, and those people helped Hicks set up the fund-raising mechanism.

“We had to make sure we got the OK from compliance,” he said, “because I didn’t want to do anything illegal to hurt by eligibility.”

He also is working with Intercept Poverty Foundation to set up a program to help college students with financial limitations.

Hicks has been a regular volunteer in the food pantry at the UC Berkeley Basic Needs Center, working restocking shifts once or twice a week throughout the 2019 football season.

He also volunteered for a UC Berkeley Basic Needs Center event in March of 2020 in which the organization prepared grocery bags to give away to UC Berkeley staff members in need due to COVID-19 and brought along several of his Cal football teammates to help.

"Elijah is a tremendous representative of our football program and university," Cal head coach Justin Wilcox said in a statement. "He has a passion for giving back and helping those who are less fortunate. Elijah has made a huge difference by doing so, and I truly believe he is just getting started. He is very deserving of this honor, and it's very satisfying that his good works are being recognized with a spot on this prestigious team."

Fans can vote for the 2020 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team captain once a day now through Nov. 22 by visiting ESPN.com/AllState.

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