National Truck Protection Co. Inc. announced its sponsorship of Big Man Big Heart (BMBH), a 501c-3 non-profit organization started by current Florida State and former Notre Dame offensive lineman Dillan Gibbons in 2021.
Big Man Big Heart was born out of Gibbons' desire to leverage the new NCAA NIL program that allows college athletes to monetize their name, image, and likeness (NIL). His idea was to start a program that could be a template for any college athlete to follow that promotes unity, positivity, and kindness in their community and beyond.
“This opportunity was truly conceived and developed because of a wonderful relationship I built with a young fan I met when I was at Notre Dame,” said Gibbons, CEO of Big Man Big Heart. “After graduating from Notre Dame, I enrolled at Florida State to finish my football eligibility and earn my MBA. My idea continued to grow, and we launched our mission the weekend of my first football game at FSU.”
Gibbons' mission was to bring his super fan friend he met at Notre Dame in 2017, Timothy Donavan, to Tallahassee for FSU’s opener whose opponent was magically, Notre Dame. Donovan is a 19 year old from Dayton, Ohio, and has been physically handicapped since he was born. His friendship with Gibbons started when Gibbons gave Donovan his pair of football gloves after a game.
“The timing of our first event was unbelievable. I knew Big Man Big Heart was what I was supposed to be doing,” added the 6’5”, 312 pound red bearded lineman.
After receiving his 501c-3 status, Gibbons started a GoFundMe page to raise money to pay the expenses for Donovan and his family to make the weekend trip from Dayton to Tallahassee. To his amazement, the “Take Timothy to Tally” campaign raised $30,000 in 23 hours.
“When I read about Gibbons' effort, I knew this was something our company wanted to support,” said Wade Bontrager, CEO of National Truck Protection, and Florida State University graduate. “This is an exciting opportunity for NTP to expand our support of local community efforts and, to be involved in this unique way for college athletes to positively impact the communities where they live through the new NCAA NIL program.”
NTP’s support will go directly to hiring a full year intern who will help develop new opportunities to do good in the community as well as help other college athletes leverage the Big Man Big Heart format to start their own programs. NTP is also developing a program to involve their national used truck dealer partners to participate by contributing a portion of each commercial truck warranty sold to Big Man Big Heart.