{ COMMUNITY }

THE SAN DIEGO CHARGERS GIVE BACK

Working hard on and off the field

By Jill Marr

 

Chargers and fans

Charger and young fan

Everyone knows that the players of the San Diego Chargers make things happen on the field. The people of San Diego appreciate the thrill of the games, the excitement of the playoffs last season and all of the fun that the team brings to the community.

But few fans know just how important the Chargers players are off the field as well. as busy as most of the team is, they take the time to help out causes that they feel are important. Take Darrell Stuckey, for instance—the special teams captain has earned a reputation for being a great leader. and with his living4One cause, he hopes to spread that help around as much as possible. “instead of separating our resources, let’s get together and help out the charities that have proven themselves efficient,” Stuckey says. His mission at living4One is to help people discover how they can influence the world in a positive way. He feels that it’s the best way to take control of the impact he has as a role model. He understands that with what he does for a living he has the opportunity to get people’s attention. “Once you get someone’s attention, what do you choose to do with it?” He loves to show that it doesn’t take football to get somewhere in life. “all the decisions you make will take you closer to your goals or take you further away from them.” With life, as in football—the goal is of ultimate importance.

Corner back Shareece Wright works with the Juvenile Diabetes relief Fund (JDrF) because his god-sister, isabella, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when she was a toddler. She’s 10 years old now, playing softball and thriving, due in part to the JDrF and the help of her hero. She wants to go to UCla and play softball for them one day. “Just to be able to give back is awesome,” according to Wright. “it feels good to be able to help with an issue that a lot of people deal with, having diabetes. Whenever you can give back and have a personal involvement is even better.” as a rookie, Wright decided that he’d donate $100 for every tackle and this year he’ll be donating $100 for every interception he makes as well. Chargers fans will have extra incentive to cheer on number 29 this season.

Charger with fan

 

Lawrence Guy, a defensive end who suffers from ADHD and dyslexia, is all about giving back where it matters.He’s the spokesman for asu’s disability resource center and often speaks to at-risk students at public schools. Center Nick hardwick supports the Marine Corps-Law enforcement Foundation (MCLeF), which provides educational assistance to the children of fallen u.s. Marines and federal law enforcement personnel. Linebacker Jarret Johnson is the spokesperson for the humane society and works with several campaigns that are aimed at putting an end to animal abuse. and number 85, tight end antonio gates hosts the shop with a Charger event each holiday season. gates and several other players take homeless, neglected and abused children on a dream Christmas shopping spree. it’s always difficult to tell who enjoys it more—the kids or the players.This year place kicker Nick Novak and safety Jahleel addae will serve as the honorary Chairs for susan g. komen san Diego’s race for the Cure. Both Novak and addae have had someone close to them who has been affected by breast cancer. so it’s personal. Last year Novak raised money for research at uCsD as well as the Colleen’s Dream Foundation. For every field goal made, Novak donated to the cause, and then several organizations matched it. this year he’d love for fans to match what he raises.Novak is also focusing on children and cancer and raising awareness for that important cause. the Chargers organization takes players to Children’s hospital for visits and it was always such a touching experience for the kicker. “they look at us like we are these important giants. it’s really humbling.” Novak says, “it would be a waste, a disservice to have this platform and not use it. that’s one of the best parts about being a Charger. of course we want to win the super Bowl but we also want to help the community too.”

JDRF: Juvenile Diabetes Relief Fund

jdrf.org

Living 4 One

living4one.com

The Colleen’s Dream Foundation

colleensdream.org

MCLEF: Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation

mclef.org

Susan G. Komen and Team Chargers

komensandiego.org/race/