MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Vikings finished up their offseason workout program on Wednesday at TCO Performance Center and for most players, the six weeks off before training camp signal vacation time.
Many spend time with their families, get away from football but still stay in shape. Vikings safety Cam Bynum is headed to the Philippines at the end of next week, and it’s anything but a vacation. On June 17, he and his family are headed there through New Life Community Care Foundation to help victims of typhoons.
On average, the Philippines is impacted by 20 typhoons per year and as many as five are considered destructive. Bynum is donating $10,000 of his own money towards the recovery efforts.
"I’m half Filipino, so a lot of my family is still out there. I know my great grandma, she grew up in the same city that we’re giving back to. Me being Filipino, me still having family out there, I for sure wanted to go out there and help them," Bynum said after the Vikings final offseason practice on Wednesday.
Bynum will be in the Philippines for three weeks, doing everything from helping to rebuild houses that have been destroyed by typhoons, putting new roofs on buildings and providing food and fresh water to those that don’t have the resources.
"Giving back and raising money for people that were affected. Giving back food, money, just any way we can meet their needs, we’re going to meet it," Bynum said.
Bynum started a GoFundMe for Typhoon Megi Relief, in Hope for Baybay, the Leyte area of the Philippines. So far, they’ve raised more than $1,200 and have a goal to raise $35,000.
Typhoon Megi caused heavy rains and landslides that destroyed 210 homes in the region. As of late April, the Philippines’ National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council has reported 214 deaths, 132 people missing and eight injured.
"Basically, anything we can do," Bynum said.
On the football field, Bynum is entering his second season with the Vikings and competing for a starting safety job alongside rookie and first round pick Lewis Cine. A fourth round pick last year, Bynum played in 14 games and got three starts. He had one interception, 28 tackles and one sack.
He’s now part of a group still learning a new defense.
"I think we’re in a great spot. We’re ready to compete, we know how to practice, I think moving forward we’ll be able to play fast and be out there keeping our guys healthy but still getting competitive reps," Bynum said.
But starting June 17 for three weeks, football takes a seat to helping Filipino people impacted by typhoons. Here's how to donate to the cause.