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Brendan Haywood is awesome, pays energy bills for mothers fighting to escape homelessness

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The new Bobcats big man is bringing a great impact off the court for Charlotte, too.

USA TODAY Sports

Brendan Haywood may not be winning much on the court, but he is sure as hell winning off it.

The Bobcats center surprised 15 women living at Charlotte's Salvation Army Center of Hope shelter Sunday, announcing he will pay each of their energy bills for a year. The women are a part of the shelter's "Rapid Rehousing Program," which helps transition homeless women and their families to their own housing by providing short term subsidies as the women return to employment or stabilize their situation.

This isn't the first time Haywood has contributed to helping single parent families. In 2010 when he was a Maverick, he established his own charity foundation, the Brendan Hayood Single Parents Fund, to assist funding for programs that help underprivileged single parent families in North Carolina and Texas.

The cause is clearly one near and dear to Haywood's heart. He experienced firsthand the difficulties and struggles that a single parent household can have, growing up with his mom working "twice as hard to makes sure I always had the things I needed," Hawyood said.

"I've seen other children from single parent families who haven't been as fortunate as me and needed a little extra help."

In the past, Haywood has also contributed to organizations such as Alley's House in Dallas, which helps teen mothers and their children grow more independent through support, education and mentoring. He's always had his roots in mind, consistently helping Greensboro families and the communities he's lived in.

This is a very cool thing he didn't have to do, something powerful with a huge impact on the lives of these families. Brendan Haywood, you have given me a lot of pride right now at a time many of us Bobcats fans could use some. Thank you for being extremely awesome.

Plus, it takes quite the bravery for such a devoted Tar Heel to commit to signing so many checks made out to Duke.