Vernon Davis traded his helmet for an apron and tongs -- working the grill at a busy chicken restaurant -- and it was all to raise a whole bunch of money for charity.
The Washington Redskins star tight end hit up Nando's in College Park, Maryland over the weekend ... where he manned the grill and served up spicy PERi-PERi chicken to hungry fans.
We're told Nando's donated 100% of sales -- every cent earned throughout the day -- to Vernon's charity ... the Vernon Davis Foundation for the Arts.
The organization's goal ... "promote art education and art appreciation among youth from disadvantaged backgrounds" by hooking up deserving students and organizations with scholarships and grants.
Davis wasn't just walking around shakin' hands ... he was literally cooking AND serving the food.
Oh, and a few Redskins cheerleaders were in the house.
Chicken, charity and cheerleaders!!