For the ninth consecutive season, the New York Jets have teamed up with the CHAMPS Program and donated $50,000 to help support their efforts in the community.
CHAMPS, which stands for "Cooperative, Healthy, Active, Motivated, and Positive Students," is an initiative of the New York City Department of Education that promotes physical activity among children throughout the five boroughs.
"The donation impacts the program by allowing us to give the flag football program the support that they need," said Dr. Bruce Davis, director of the CHAMPS program. "With that money we are able to, on a case-by-case basis, supply teams with equipment. It also helps us to defer costs for the coaching staff and for transportation to our culminating event."
Two Jets players, OL Wes Johnson and LB Taiwan Jones, were at JHS 062 in Brooklyn, NY, for the presentation, then participated in a question-and-answer session and worked on various football drills with the student-athletes to help further their talents.
"It was a lot of fun," said Jones. "I've always been taught growing up to always give back. You never know what kind of impact you're going to have on someone's life. It was a good experience and I'm glad I had a chance to be a part of the event."
"You really don't look at it as service because I was having fun hanging out with those kids," added Johnson. "I feel like they had fun, they learned some lessons and I learned some lessons too."
For the players to spend their only off day giving back is precious time that was valued by the school's faculty and students.
"The kids are indeed New Yorkers and they are excited about the relationship the flag football CHAMPS has with the Jets," said Davis. "They look to the Jets as most children do, as role models, and when they saw the Jets, Mr. Johnson and Taiwan were great, they just warmed up to them like they were part of the family."
"The relationship with the CHAMPS program is awesome," said Charles Wande, manager of community relations for the Jets. "We have been able to grow this program steadily throughout the years with the donations and also with getting the attention that the program needs in terms of letting parents and students know that there is another positive program for them to do after school."