Receiver's helping hands

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:07 AM ET

Some wide receivers can recall their first catch or touchdown with pride.

But Corey Parchman's best football memory came miles away from the gridiron.

Through several substantial paycheques the receiver earned from the NFL, Parchman and his brother Armundo started Parchman Developments to provide low-income housing in their hometown of Indianapolis.

When the first families moved into their homes two years ago, the 25-year-old declared his football career a success and not necessarily because he was doing well on the field.

"Most of the people we sold houses to, they had that mindset they would never own a house," said the Calgary Stampeders receiver, who signed as a free agent Wednesday.

"They don't have the resources to buy a house and, once we set them on a program to get their credit together and budget the money, they get those keys.

"To live in an apartment your whole life and to get a house for the first time, it's the most beautiful feeling in the world."

After a successful college career at Ball State that ended in 2001, Parchman signed as an undrafted free agent with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

He eventually bounced around the NFL before getting released by the Green Bay Packers this fall.

But every time he signed somewhere, Parchman poured the bonus money into his development company. The brothers, who also enlist Armundo's wife Tara in the business, started buying property to rent out at a cheap rate.

Soon, they were renovating houses for resale, keeping the product inexpensive enough for families to buy their first home.

One day, the brothers decided they could build from scratch, so they purchased five acres of land on the east side of Indianapolis for 24 low-income houses.

"The first development we did was in my old neighbourhood," said Parchment, who named new streets after his parents and grandparents. "We saw the neighbourhood going to pieces so we wanted to give back. That's the first thing we did. It's amazing to help the people you might know and still live in the same community you lived in.

"Some people have hard breaks in life and to give them a second chance, it's a great feeling for us."

So if Parchman's latest football stop doesn't work out, he isn't worried.

He's got his life after ball planned out.

"Even getting tossed around from team to team, picking up cheques isn't too bad," Parchment said. "I wanted to use it for some good. I would love to get a Bentley but that's not in the plans. I don't know how I could spend $90,000 on a car when I could build two houses for that amount."


Videos

Photos