Former Lion lending hand to homeless

Posted by Jeff Rice on December 14, 2011 

Most of you are tired of reading about what a former Penn State football player and coach allegedly did to at-risk children.

Here's a story of a former Penn State football player who is leading a cause that aids those in need.

From 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center in Baltimore, Md., Matthew Rice will host, for the second year in a row, the Mateo Blu "Hip Hop for the Homeless Art Showing." Rice, the Baltimore native, painter, philanthropist and former Nittany Lion defensive end, will have several of his works available for sale. A donation of $5 or a canned good donation is required for entry and, a percentage of the proceeds will support "Hip Hop for the Homeless."

Founded by Rice and several members of Baltimore's hip hop culture, "Hip Hop for the Homeless," works with various non-profit groups -- including Rice's Blu Art Foundation -- to organize weekly meals as well as food, clothing and toy drives for the homeless.

"It's not just its own entity," Rice said Wednesday. "We help supply to the entities who do things year-round."

Rice donated portions of proceeds from his artwork to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) after the Jerry Sandusky scandal broke. His Thursday art show is only part of the five-day event. Concerts were scheduled for Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights. Performers will include Caddy Da Don, who is Rice's older brother. "Hip Hop for the Homeless" concludes Sunday, when the donated food will be distributed.

Rice urges Penn State fans -- or anyone who wants to get involved -- to visit Baltimore's Hip Hop for the Homeless page on Facebook.

"One of the most powerful tools in our culture is hip hop," Rice said. "But there are so many negative things that surround hip hop. We wanted to show what the true culture of hip hop is."

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