This Mother's Day I'd like to thank a professional football player who is making a difference in the lives of single mothers, of which I am one. It doesn't matter what football team you like or don't like, you have to respect Jarvis Green, a defensive end with the Denver Broncos and what he does on the field is impressive to most, but what he does off the field is what is even more impressive to me. He founded the Jarvis Green Foundation, a non-for-profit organization that provides support to single working mothers in disadvantaged, low-income areas.
Happy Mother's Day to all moms, but especially to those who are doing it alone. Today more than one in five American children (23 percent) lives in a family headed only by a mother. Jarvis Green is doing what he can to help those mothers and today, I thank HIM.
Why single moms?
I know how they get neglected by the government, especially those who work for a living and have one or more kids. I lost a lot of family with Hurricane Katrina and the best thing I could do is help a few families each year.
I contacted my CPA and we put together a foundation, do events and started plugging away, doing luncheons and networking and meeting people.
Have you gotten to know the moms you're helping?
The first mom we helped, Michele Jefferson, is a single mom family of four and after Katrina we couldn't find one of the fathers who was involved. Another father is still around and we a relationship with her.
(Jarvis donated $25,000 to Michelle Jefferson, a single mother from New Orleans, to assist with her recovery after Katrina.)
We contacted the government to find out the worst case scenario, and they gave us the names of the recipients who really need it, whose working a consistent job. We always get emails through Facebook -- letters from other people who suggest friends that they know. It's hard to help everyone.
Where does your giving come from?
When I was younger, we didn’t grow up in a big house, but we still went out and helped others, from the church to the school to different charity. It was doing those little things. Now I have the means to do what I want to do. We can help people now.
How do fit the events in to your schedule?
It’s not hard. I have a good team -- a good publicist, marketing team. Those people help to make things easier. I'm also very proactive, making phone calls, going to different events. We still have time and my wife is very understanding -- it was hard when I first started, but it's become a norm now.
Things I do outside of football I don’t do for notoriety or for a pat on my back, I do them because I’m able to. God blessed me with all the things I have. The reason I am here is not because of me but because of people who helped me. People look at football on the negative side, but there are a lot of guys that care not just about themselves.