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Minnesota punter Peter Mortell raising $25k for children's hospital

Minnesota punter Peter Mortell has always been one of our favorites here at the blog for his hilarious Twitter presence, which included a short-lived Heisman Trophy campaign and his recently self-created "Holder of the Year" award.

But Mortell is more than just a jokester. He's proving that he has a huge heart as well.

For the second straight year, the senior is donating his gift card from the Golden Gophers' bowl game -- they play Central Michigan in the Quick Lane Bowl on Dec. 28 -- to charity. But he's also taking his charitable efforts to a higher level, as he explains in this post on a Minnesota fundraising site:

"Last year, our team participated in the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida. As part of our gift package, we were given a $452 gift card to BestBuy. I decided to use my gift card to buy Christmas gifts for kids at St. Joseph's Home for Children. The feedback I've received since has been overwhelming. All of the people who showed their support helped me realize how willing to give our community truly is. It got me thinking- how can we do something bigger and better this year? That's how "A Very Specialist Christmas" was born.

"I'm proud to partner with the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital to raise money and buy gifts for the many teenage patients who are spending their holiday in a hospital room. Many times, people generously donate gifts for younger kids and children. As amazing as this is, often the demographic of teenage patients gets overlooked-- but not this year. My goal is to raise money so that we can purchase gifts that not only current patients at the hospital can use, but future patients as well."

Mortell's original goal of $10,000 was quickly surpassed, so now he is attempting to raise $25,000 for the children's hospital. By Monday afternoon he had already raised nearly 85 percent of that goal, with more than $21,000 pledged.

It's an incredible gesture at the right time of year by one of our favorite players to cover. If you would like to help him help the children's hospital, you can donate here.