KC Chiefs’ Tamba Hali nominated for Man of the Year

The Kansas City Chiefs defensive stand-out has been nominated for the Walter Peyton Man of the Year award, in part due to his generous support of Heart to Heart International’s efforts to fight the Ebola epidemic in Hali’s native land of Liberia.

tamba hali

Photo © Kansas City Chiefs

The prestigious Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award presented by Nationwide is unique among NFL honors because it is the only award that recognizes a current NFL player for outstanding community service activities as well as excellence on the field. – NFL.com

At Heart to Heart International we feel this nomination is so well deserved, because #91 stepped up in a big way.  Not only did Tamba Hali help to get the word out about our plans to open an Ebola Treatment Unit in Liberia, he made a substantial donation to the effort.  Here’s an excerpt from his nomination:

How has your nominee put the needs of members in the community ahead of their own?
With the team in the midst of its bye-week, Hali put off travel to remain in Kansas City this October. Instead of embarking to a tropical paradise, he and Heart to Heart International formally announced the construction of a 70-bed Ebola Treatment Unit. In fact, Hali was so moved by the passion of Heart to Heart International that he pledged $50,000 to the cause.

tamba hali & HHI

Hali, flanked by Dr. Lee Norman of the University of Kansas Hospital and HHI CEO Jim Mitchum (in blue jacket), after the October announcement that HHI would go to Liberia to combat the Ebola epidemic. Photo © Kansas City Chiefs


As reported on KCChiefs.com, the Chiefs organization nominated Hali this year for his prowess on the field, for his support of HHI and for doing so much for people in the Kansas City area.

We are very proud to have Tamba represent the Chiefs Kingdom as this year’s nominee for the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award,” Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said. “As a player, with his teammates and in the communities he serves, Tamba demonstrates tremendous heart. He does not seek personal recognition for his tireless hard work. He prefers action over words. So, we are delighted to see him nominated for one of the most prestigious honors in our game.”

The Man of the Year will be announced January 31st, the day before the Super Bowl.  Of course we’re pulling for Tamba! So deserving!!



Tamba Hali Donates, Joins Fight Against Ebola

Recently, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali joined us at a press conference to show support for Heart to Heart International’s efforts in Liberia to combat the spread of Ebola.
Now, Hali, who grew up in Liberia, has made a sizable donation to help in the fight.

Tamba ETU 14

HHI CEO Jim Mitchum shows Tamba Hali some medical supplies bound for Liberia


In a cover story on Sports Illustrated’s The MMQB, Peter King writes about Tamba Hali, his childhood in Liberia and why he made such a large donation to help.

Peter King writes: Hali is typically reserved, and he’s not comfortable being a spokesman for anything. This is different, though. He understands that there are few famous Liberians in America, so he knows it’s up to him to speak up and try to get people to donate money and time to help contain Ebola, a viral disease for which there is no proven treatment.

“We can’t really wait on this,” Hali said on Wednesday before the Chiefs hit the field to practice for Sunday’s game at San Diego. “I’d be the first one to tell you that every time I do charity work, I like to do it on the hush-hush and help people quietly. But there are some matters—like this—that are way bigger than me. All I can do is lend my help in ways I know I can.

“This is not a type of disease you can contract and then there are vaccines and it goes away. People are dying within weeks and within the first month of contact. So we have to act now.”

Read Peter King’s full story on The MMQB about Hali helping in Heart to Heart International’s fight against Ebola.

HHI to Open Ebola Treatment Unit in Liberia

Heart to Heart International CEO Jim Mitchum announced today (October 7, 2014) that HHI would open an Ebola Treatment Unit in Liberia to help combat the Ebola epidemic.


Mitchum: “This is no small task, nor was it an easy decision. Running an ETU in Liberia will be the most complex and challenging humanitarian effort we have ever undertaken.” 

Mitchum made the announcement at a press conference held at the new HHI headquarters in Lenexa, KS in front of a bank of cameras and news reporters. “After careful deliberation, we have decided to go to Liberia where we will open and operate a 70-bed Ebola Treatment Unit,” Mitchum said.  The ETU is already under construction in Kakata, a city about 50 miles from the capital of Monrovia.  HHI will join two other NGOs who are already operating ETUs in Liberia.

Read more of HHI’s plan to open an Ebola Treatment Unit

Joining Mitchum for the announcement was Dr. Lee Norman, Chief Medical Officer of the University of Kansas Hospital who supported the plan laid out by Mitchum, and offered “we at KU Hospital have systems in place to assure you that should Heart to Heart volunteers and staff, and their worried families, need our care, we are here to help you.”

Dr. Lee Norman


Also on hand – Tamba Hali, a linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs professional football team. Hali spent much of his childhood in war torn Liberia and offered support for HHI’s plan to help the people of his home country.  “The country’s been in chaos and Heart to Heart’s coming in,” Hali said. “I don’t think there’s another organization that does what they do. We just need more effort. These are good people. We’re all human beings. We’re all good people. We all want to do the right thing.”

Tamba at presser