While I have been doing player profiles, the Jaguars have actually been, you know, trying to make the world a better place.
Before the Iowa floods, there were tornadoes. In Iowa. That is what that state gets for having a caucus. Try to make our political process more engaging, eh? Mother nature doesn’t think so.
Anyway, one town in particular got ravaged pretty badly. Parkersburg, Iowa is a town of about 2,000. What made it so special that the Jaguars raised over 90 thousand dollars for it?
Well, to start, it is the home down of Jaguars center Brad Meester. It is also the home town of Detroit Lions defensive lineman Jared DeVries, Denver Broncos offensive lineman Casey Wiegmann and Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Aaron Kampman. Yup. A town of 2,000 produced four NFL players.
The Jaguars raised 90 thousand through donations from the team, including players and coaching staff, and through these nifty little hats they sold online and during the mini-camp.
According to NFL.com, a check for $24,000 will be given to the Aplington-Parkersburg High School (which the tornado literally seperated down the middle. And I am using literally here properly.) football program and $66,000 will go to the Parkersburg Relief Fund.
How does Meester feel about all this?
“The fundraising is huge for them,” Meester said Tuesday. “All the money that goes to the relief fund is going directly to the ones that were affected. I think it’s going to be huge for them because they are obviously going through a tough time right now having to find another place to live, having to buy everything, just the little things they have lost.
“Having to wait for insurance to come through has been tough because they still have bills to pay and everything else. I know this will definitely help them a lot.”
The donation obviously won’t cover everything that was lost. However, it is good to see a player and a NFL team strive to make that difference.
Edit: The Jaguars just put this awesome story up on their website.
Here is a small excerpt:
He huddled with people in the organization soon after the tornado and said he needed to do something, now. The key word is “he.” He never asked for anything from anybody. The idea of producing a hat with his high school logo was quickly approved by all parties.
It’s important to note Brad is not a guy who enjoys the camera or the spotlight. He would much rather see his teammates get the attention even after the offensive line would open huge holes for Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew on a particular Sunday. That was perfectly fine with him.
This was completely different. He told our staff he would do whatever it took to get the word out about Parkersburg and the hats that were going to be sold at mini-camp. He delivered in a big way, spreading the message through interview after interview. The Jacksonville and Iowa media were very supportive in this mission. They wore the hats and never stopped talking about the situation in Iowa.
Brad was also playing father to his three young girls in Jacksonville while Jamie was assessing the damage of her parents’ home in Iowa. There was nothing left of the house, just a giant dirt hole. Brad and Jamie could have easily gone into a shell and just helped their relatives, but we learned that is not how they operate.