Max Godby grew up comfortably in the east end of Louisville.
He doesn't recall ever seeing homeless people or even thinking too much about them.
But when he moved to Lexington as a walk-on for the University of Kentucky football team, Godby started noticing homeless people around campus.
He would see them daily near Woodland Park, close to his old house on Oldham Avenue.
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"You see so many homeless people come down your street," Godby said a few weeks ago. "For some of them, it's just people who need to be loved on and need to be helped out."
So when Godby was asked to come speak to the Street Voice Council at the Catholic Action Center this week, the offensive lineman was happy to do it.
He admitted to the small group on Tuesday that he didn't know quite what to say.
The struggles in his life — like a difficult loss at Florida two weeks ago — are nothing compared to not knowing where your next hot meal will come from or if you'll have a bed that night.
"You've gone through things that would make me buckle," he told them.
Godby has been working quietly with the group since last year while doing a service project known as "Bucks for Backpacks."
It's a program he put together with the help of the Catholic Action Center to stuff and hand out bags filled with clothing, toiletries, food and water to the homeless in Lexington.
For his efforts, Godby was one of 22 college football players in the nation named to the 2014 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. He was surprised with a special presentation shortly after his talk Tuesday.
"It's a special award," said UK Coach Mark Stoops, who was in on the surprise, waiting quietly in a small hallway as Godby made his speech. "Very few people are given that award.
"He really goes above and beyond in the community, in our locker room, on campus."
Waiting and watching with Stoops were offensive line coach John Schlarman, Godby's parents, Jeff and Giovanna, UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart and many others.
"We just appreciate all his hard work and all of his positive energy," Stoops said. "He has a big heart."
The ceremony and its special guests caught Godby a little off guard.
"I really had no idea what was going on," he said after receiving a trophy from an Allstate representative. "It was a very overwhelming feeling. I'm still trying to process what just happened."
While the recognition touched him, he's hopeful that it will remind his adopted community that there's still much work to be done.
Godby keeps going back to something his minister told him.
"You truly see God when you're around people, especially broken people," Godby said.
So the reserve offensive lineman, who was awarded a full scholarship last season by Stoops, set out to do something to help people in his own neighborhood.
Godby reached out to a family friend who was a lawyer and developed a program that enabled him to help in the community without violating any NCAA regulations.
He solicited donations and started to put together items that could be used in the backpacks. He stored it all in his closet and attic before putting together a UK assembly line to pack the bags.
"We set up in the team meeting room and guys throughout the day just came in and loaded up backpacks," he said. "They said, 'We just want to help out.' And that's what they did."
The team packed more than 150 bags for men and women in the community. The goal next time around is even more backpacks to help even more people. A donation of backpacks by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association will speed up the process, Godby said.
The project has become special to him.
"It kind of just blew up to something I really didn't imagine to something I just absolutely love doing now," Godby said.
The people gathered at the Street Voice Council wanted to show their love for Godby, too.
And they did it in a most familiar way.
"Go Big Blue!" they cheered. "Go Big Blue!"