Sports is a great way to bring awareness to social issues. It also serves as a vehicle for people to get out of poverty and make something of their lives. So it should not come as a surprise that the biggest game in American Sports would have an inspiration story about one of the players playing in his most important game of his career. Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver James Jones grew up homeless since “coming out of the hospital until [he] was a freshman in High School.”
James perseverance, dedication, motivation, and faith are some characteristics one can attribute to his success. Not only does he possess these traits but it was Jones breakthrough performance in the inaugural New Mexico Bowl that caught the attention of some NFL scouts. Green Bay selected him in the 3rd round of the NFL draft.
There are thousands of children sleeping in homeless shelters, streets, cars, underneath bridges or in group homes who can relate to James story. These children also have big dreams. Today is James Jones, tomorrow it may be one of them.
James has not forgotten where he came from. He donates a portion of his salary to children in need and is a frequent visitor at local homeless shelters where he shares his story to children. During the Super Bowl’s Media Day, James stated, “As a little kid, you don’t understand why you are there. When I go back to these homeless shelters and talk to these kids, I let them know that it is not your mother’s fault and better days are ahead.”
In a interview with the San Jose Mercury news, James states, “I always tell people it’s bigger than the game of football. I don’t think God put me in this position to win Super Bowls and make Lambeau Leaps.” He goes on to say, “When I was in the homeless shelters, I was one of those kids that would’ve wanted to go to a football camp. Now I’m truly blessed…When I wake up, I think ‘How can I be a blessing to other people?’ “
James is not only a great wide receiver but an amazing human being. He has started a non profit organization, LoveJones4kids, to help children in San Jose, CA and in Green Bay, WI. To get further information on his non profit go to http://www.lovejones4kids.com/
I can imagine James Jones going to a local homeless shelter and giving those children a motivational speech. I imagine him sharing his story and how he is able to understand their struggles. I then picture the kids reaction when he tells them that he went from living in homeless shelters to becoming a Super Bowl Champion and having the opportunity to go to the White House and shake the President’s hand. The kids will come out of the talk highly motivated and thinking, “better days are ahead.”