James Jones plays wide receiver for the Super Bowl-bound Green Bay Packers. He is at what could be the pinnacle of his career, but it wasn’t always fat salaries and ultra-luxury for this receiver. You see, from birth until his freshman year of high school, Jones was homeless.
He lived on the street until he was a teenager, when he was finally able to go live with his grandmother. The whole time, he continued going to school, earning a college scholarship, and eventually being drafted by the NFL as a 3rd round pick. Not too many people could achieve so much against such great odds.
And now he’s giving back.
In a sport that has been beleaguered by scandal, Jones is a bright spot. He’s not sending pornographic texts to employees or cheating on his wife. He’s not heading a vicious dog fighting ring. He’s not firing guns or trying to get out of any number of crimes and misdemeanors.
Instead he’s helping kids in the same position he was in. He's become someone that kids can look up to rather than mock. This Super Bowl star is using his superpowers for good instead of evil. Instead of being caught up in the fame, the money, the privilege, he remembers what it’s like to have none of that.
He told Reuters “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.”
Jones runs a football camp for kids each year. He spends time in homeless shelters talking to families and children about his life, giving them hope. He recently auctioned off NFL Championship game tickets to raise money to feed the needy. He’s started a foundation in both his hometown of San Jose and in Green Bay. The foundation partners with other non-profits to support education and housing programs for homeless and poor kids. This man is better suited to the Saints than the Packers!
If you want to help out one of his other campaigns, you can donate to the United Way of Green Bay, which is running a campaign to fight obesity in kids. Just text FITGB to 864833 to donate. You can also donate to his foundation via the website.