GoodHeart | NFL players in outreach group planning initiative for Jamaica in 2022
Despite the restrictions presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, South Florida-based Through Our Eyes Foundation, whose members include several National Football League (NFL) players, is planning an outreach trip to Jamaica for 2022. The initiative will include a youth sports camp.
During a recent visit to Jamaica, which followed their first trip to the island in 2018, the non-profit organisation donated several tablet computers, school supplies, masks and sanitisers to Grange Hill and Little London High schools, both in Westmoreland. The donated items, valued at US$1,500 (J$232,126), were donated through a partnership with the Royalton Negril Resort and Spa, as part of the foundation’s Bridge the Gap: Jamaica initiative.
Jon LeSane, the executive director of the Through Our Eyes Foundation, told The Gleaner that the group plans to establish a sports camp for youngsters to learn American football and do outreach work at a trade school in Oracabessa, St Mary. The trip will take place during the NFL’s off-season when no games are scheduled.
“It is usually an off-season trip that we would do, in which we would go to different areas, so we would hope to continue this initiative once COVID-19 restrictions are not an issue anymore. We would like to go back to doing a sports and athletic training camp, targeting older students in the 14-18 age range who are interested in American football, and we would also like to work with the trade school in Oracabessa,” LeSane explained.
“The next outreach would be between April and June of next year, during the NFL off-season, and also it would hopefully give us time to get through the pandemic because that has been a very big issue for us, not only with travelling but also with visiting schools and orphanages. We have not been able to do that visitation to the maximum capacity,” LeSane added.
The Through Our Eyes Foundation previously hosted a sports camp at the Granville All-Age School in St James during its first visit to Jamaica in 2018. Since that time, the group has carried out several fund-raising efforts for underprivileged young people across the world and has also conducted outreach through sports and athletics.
The foundation was started in 2017 after a group of NFL players visited a South African orphanage and donated funds, clothing, toiletries and other necessities for children affected by HIV. Since that time, over 500 children and teenagers have benefited from the group’s outreach efforts.
“We have continued to build our foundation, and we have become an official non-profit, and we have raised funds to donate to underprivileged youth in different countries that we travel to. We also look for ways to help out with sports, athletics, and any other ways where the communities we visit would like specific help with specific needs,” said LeSane.