NFL star tackles foster awareness

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Michael Oher, the NFL star who was the inspiration for the 2009 Hollywood blockbuster "The Blind Side," was in Phoenix  Saturday to raise awareness about the needs of foster children, some of whom come from abusive situations at home.

Oher, now an offensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens, was in foster care as a child.

He accompanied Gov. Jan Brewer with day long activities for Hope & A Future, an Arizona-based organization that specializes in providing programs and services to teenagers in foster care.

The day began with a "strike out child abuse walk."  It ended with a private lecture to foster youth at Grand Canyon University.

"I was in so many of these kids' shoes. I understand where they're coming from," Oher said. "If they see me, they can say, 'Hey, he did it. If he did it, I can do it,' because I was once where they are."

Besides giving of his time, Oher also treated all of the children to pizza.