Tremayne Anchrum has given back for years without Rams, his teammates’ knowledge

LOS ANGELES — At the end of October, at the Holocaust Museum, Tremayne Anchrum stopped in front of an exhibit about a family that had hidden several Jews in their own home during that time, to protect them from Nazi troops who were at great risk. staff.

Anchrum studied their faces, then silently and almost to himself, marveled aloud at their effort and sacrifice. He wondered why he had never heard their names before, why he hadn’t had more lessons about them in history class. He was drawn to and deeply moved by the stories of people helping others.

That day, Anchrum visited the museum with a youth group from the Boys and Girls Club of Los Angeles, where he has volunteered since coming to town as a seventh-round pick in 2020. He was still wearing a season-old walking boot. . — ending the leg injury he sustained in his first NFL start at guard for the Rams in September. Anchrum limped slightly as he and the group toured the museum and listened to Holocaust survivor Eva Nathanson. Her life was saved when she was little more than a toddler by a family who pretended she was her daughter when Nazi soldiers came to take her mother, father, and older siblings.

Doing the right thing is not always (popular), but it really helps a lot,” Anchrum said after the tour. “The people we hear about were saved by the kindness of one person (and they) wouldn’t be here today if those people didn’t exist. I think it’s good that we encourage kids to see that standing up for people and striving to be a good citizen does matter. Those impacts are felt well beyond their lifetimes.”

Days earlier, Anchrum had reached out to Molly Higgins, the Rams’ director of community affairs, to ask if she could help him schedule a tour with the museum after Los Angeles experienced a spike in anti-Semitic activity.

By now, Higgins is used to being asked these kinds of questions by Anchrum. He has brought similar ideas to her in the past, such as helping facilitate weekly yoga and meditation sessions for residents of the Jenesse Center, a Los Angeles-based domestic abuse prevention and treatment center where Anchrum also volunteers, and has worked Frequently with Higgins. and the charitable programming of Rams’ RISE and Cedars-Sinai for the past three years.

Tremayne Anchrum visited the Holocaust Museum in Fairfax, California, in September with a group of youth from the Boys and Girls Club of Los Angeles. (Photo by Klutch Sports)

“He just wants to help people,” Higgins said.

But Higgins has also made a habit of learning about Anchrum’s service efforts from others because he certainly doesn’t broadcast them himself. Even including a member of the media on a tour of the Holocaust Museum was an outlier for Anchrum, who once told Higgins that he prefers to “move quietly” and without fanfare in his charity work.

Most of Anchrum’s teammates don’t even know what he does outside of work. Players have one day off per week during the NFL season. Anchrum uses his to serve his community, sometimes driving for hours to do so. He began helping out at the Jenesse Center this summer, for example, making the 100-mile round trip from Irvine, Calif., during practice breaks.

Higgins got a call from a facility staffer one day, excited about Anchrum, who hadn’t mentioned to anyone with the Rams that he was helping out.

“He drove to the team hotel in Newport Beach, California, to South Los Angeles for a tour and spent a couple of hours learning about (downtown), and then he drove back,” Higgins said. “I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ That’s next level stuff, you know? Fast forward to (November), he called me and said, ‘I have an idea I want to pitch to you…’.”

The next thing Higgins knew, she was sitting on a video call led by Anchrum and the Jenesse Center leadership board, brainstorming programming for residents.

“I’m sitting there brimming with pride,” Higgins said. “An amazing young man (and) human being, (who is) motivated for all the right reasons. The fact that, as he puts it, he prefers to ‘move quietly’, I will never forget him making that comment to me. I just respect him a lot.”

When Anchrum was a rookie, he hadn’t been in Los Angeles very long when he heard about the Hollywood Food Coalition, a local nonprofit that serves thousands of meals to food-insecure Angelenos every night of the week and also hosts a “swap” program in which volunteers accept, store, and redistribute donated food (often from restaurants or stores that would otherwise have wasted it) to smaller nonprofits in need. Anchrum didn’t know anyone in the food coalition, but in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic was in its early stages and volunteers were desperately needed. So Anchrum, then 21, started showing up.

“I never thought he was a football player, as he never mentioned it,” said Erin Lovelace, who is the kitchen supervisor. “So tolerant, he didn’t have an agenda. He was literally there to help. When I found out he was a football player, I mean, you’d assume he’d start with that.

“He never mentioned that he was here playing for the Rams. … He was never part of our conversation, (and) I don’t think he thinks that’s what life is about. Life is not about our career, life is about the people we serve and love and how we care for the world. Every time I see him, that’s what amplifies and emanates through his energy.”

At the Hollywood Food Coalition, Anchrum sorts and bags huge loads of compost, serves food, picks up trash after customers finish eating (often, Lovelace noted, collecting trash means doing it amid rodent and human waste like areas where many in the homeless or food insecure population do not have public toilets available).

It took more than two years of weekly work before anyone with the Rams knew he was doing it, not even his coaches, teammates or public relations staff.

It’s the first time I’ve heard of that, and I believe it,” said veteran right tackle Rob Havenstein, team captain, and his face lit up in surprise when he was told earlier this month about Anchrum’s work with the United States coalition. foods. “That’s the kind of person he is. The fact that he hasn’t told anyone about it also speaks volumes about who he is. He’s a selfless guy, just a super nice guy. That’s an amazing thing to hear.”

In fact, the first time many of Anchrum’s Rams colleagues learned of his efforts with the charity was just before he made his first NFL start in Week 2. Some of Anchrum’s family members Anchrum attended from Georgia, but he also reserved a block of tickets for the people he serves with at the Hollywood Food Coalition.

After Anchrum’s injury earlier in that game, he was unable to walk or drive for a few weeks. As soon as he was able to move, though, he was back in the staff line and out on the streets, sharing a kind word with strangers, picking up trash and digging up compost, and offering a plate to whoever wanted one.

Anchrum just keeps showing up quietly where it thinks it might be needed. If people are hungry, he tries to feed them. If they need shelter or support, he tries to give them just that.

It’s fitting that the nickname given to him by teammates, friends and loved ones is an unintentional description of who Anchrum is.

They call it “Tre”, but it is not pronounced “tray”. Pronounced “tree.”

“The more you see it, get to know it, talk to it, it’s a tree,” Lovelace said, with a warm laugh. “He is giving. I read that book, ‘The Giving Tree’ to my son sometimes. He is always giving of himself. Even when he is hurt… (he is) this spirit that is always giving of himself, and no one is ever a burden to him. He always makes the time.”

(Tremayne Anchrum photo above: Klutch Sports)

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