Along with game-day determination, the best of the Canadian Football League are bringing generosity to Winnipeg — on Thursday, players are kicking off the morning by serving breakfast to the homeless.
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The croissants were out and asparagus was being chopped at Siloam Mission when CBC's Trevor Dineen caught up with the Montreal Alouettes' Henoc Muamba, who was a Winnipeg Blue Bomber from 2011-13.
It isn't the first time Muamba has volunteered at Siloam. He has been there before through an organization called Athletes in Action, which uses sport to guide people to Jesus Christ, their website says.
"I just try to be a blessing to anyone that I can possibly be for," Muamba said.
"This is one of the things that my mom has always told me growing up.… You're blessed to be a blessing. I feel like this is a great way to do it, and it's a great way to accomplish the mission that us as believers are supposed to."
Through Athletes in Action, Muamba and others from the league reached out to Siloam Mission, not the other way around. The organization has brought him to prisons, schools, youth centres and churches to volunteer.
"I believe as a CFL player … we have a great platform to impact other people's lives," Muamba said, adding he gets a "wake-up call" by being at the shelter when he sees millions of dollars going into the Grey Cup as people travel to Winnipeg for the game.
"You realize that you may have so much … at the same time, there's always other people in need," he said.
"It's a humbling experience."
Although he hasn't visited Winnipeg since 2013, Muamba has not forgotten the cold, and its impact on those on the street.
a lot of people that come in here and don't have the things to keep themselves warm, especially in a city like Winnipeg," he said. "As the old saying goes, one man's trash is another man's treasure. There's a lot of things here that people really, really truly need, so if anyone can, it's a great place to come donate them."
Bryant Turner from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, B.C. Lions Jonathon Jennings and Mike Benson and former Saskatchewan Roughrider, Blue Bomber and B.C. Lion Barrin Simpson are some of the others players at Siloam on Thursday.
Meanwhile on Donald Street, the Bombers Breakfast was held at the Metropolitan Entertainment Centre (MET).
Members of the business community attended the breakfast, where retired CFL star Dave Mudge and veteran football talent scout Paul Jones were inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.
Both breakfasts are the first of a number of activities going on in Winnipeg leading up to the Grey Cup.