GILBERT, Arizona – Jay Feely has time on his hands, as do many people today at home, praying and hoping the coronavirus pandemic will subside.
So instead of sitting idly while waking up every day to see another alarming number of cases and deaths related to COVID-19, the 14-year-old NFL veteran I thought he would do something about it.
With the help of their son Jace, a junior football player on the Gilbert Christian football team, they are buying meals in restaurants and taking them to the health professionals and first responders who are on the front lines of this battle, thanking them for taking the risk. Your lives.
"The reason we wanted to do this, we were watching (the numbers) sitting at home," said the former Arizona Cardinals player. "Throughout my career, through the greatest blessing of playing in the NFL, I received a platform where I can do something good.
"I was in Haiti. It's relevant to what's going on. I thought, 'What can I do to help?' I saw a story in Washington. It was twofold. You can help the restaurant and the small businesses that are suffering right now. You buy meals from them and, at the same time, take them to the rescuers and thank them for risking their lives. "
On Thursday, he started a fund page called "Food Fighters" asking for donations that would help local restaurants, medical personnel and first responders. The target is $ 10,000. As of Friday, mid-afternoon, almost $ 8,000 was raised.
Former Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner contributed $ 1,000 to the cause, as did Jay Feely himself.
"Honestly, I hope we do 10 times that goal," said Feely.
Feely, who was named by the Arizona Republic as the coach of the year in women's football after taking Gilbert Christian to the state title, said he and his son are delivering meals.
They wear masks and gloves to keep themselves safe, but the reward is to see how thankful and generous everyone is.
"It gives me another view of what other people are doing," said Jace. "I'm just doing school online. These people are struggling to keep their restaurants open and others are fighting for other people to keep them alive."
No high school online class teaches this.
This may be the best education that Jace is receiving during this health crisis.
"It's good to get out of yourself," said Jay. "People are losing family members, people you love. The impact this is having on families. This is forcing them to spend more time, to go out and talk and play. It's probably something we need more in society , than just running in tatters. with all kinds of events that don't really matter at the end of the day ".
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