Yesterday, millions of people gathered together, regardless of race, gender, age, or religion, to watch the most viewed broadcasting event of the year. The Super Bowl attracts viewers of all types. Those who have a team directly involved in it are the obvious target. Then you have those who simply cannot stand a particular team, so they tune in to hopefully watch them lose. There are the die-hard football fans, the bandwagon fans, the fair weather fans, the fans of any type of big gathering, the spouses and significant others of crazy football fans, and the big commercial watchers. Regardless of who you are, there’s a good chance that the game was on wherever you were.
I’m not sure how many were watching the night before the big game, however. This is when a prestigious award is given out, celebrating the incredible giving spirit of one individual NFL player. This player must demonstrate how they have given back to society, and helped the world be just a little bit better. Each team nominates one player, so there are 32 total. These are weeded down to just three finalists. This year the finalists were: Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman, Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis, and Arizona Cardinals kicker Jay Feely. Charles Tillman ended up receiving the award this year for his charitable contributions to society.
Tillman’s foundation helps children throughout the nation, by providing children’s hospitals with access to different forms of entertainment (IPads, laptops, gaming systems) for the sick kids to pass their time with. His foundation also has distributed more than $1 million to families who are identified as at-risk or in need. Tillman is also responsible for buying and donating hundred s of Bear s tickets through the Bears’ Home Team Hand-Off program, as well as providing tickets for U.S. soldiers in the 2013 season. He and his wife have also helped to build a school in Cambodia along with their philanthropy work in the states. (Gregg Rosenthal, “Around The League”)
Charles Tillman received national recognition for his great works, but I want to bring it a little closer to home now. The Souper Bowl of Caring is an annual event that lasts from January until Super Bowl Sunday. During this time, food banks throughout the nation collect donations from conscientious shoppers who wish to donate either money or food to the food insecure in their area. This year, Hays County Food Bank was represented at both HEB’s in San Marcos, Texas. People were asked to donate either $1, $3, or $5 at check-out, or they could choose to donate at $5 bag of assorted canned good items located in the store.
There is a particular individual in the San Marcos HEB who recently caught our attention. During Souper Bowl of Caring, Jackie Allen made a personal goal to raise at least $1,200 all on her own from the $1, $3, and $5 tear off tabs at the check-out lane. Last I heard just last week she was just short at $1,100 Jackie informed everyone that came through her line about what Souper Bowl of Caring is, and how it helps out their neighbors in Hays County. Not only do we feed people in San Marcos, but also residents in Kyle, Buda, Wimberley, Martindale, and other small towns in the area. She did everything in her power to help out the food insecure in Hays County and the surrounding areas. One of our board members happened to hear and see Jackie in action , and shared her story with us. We wanted to be sure and recognize Ms. Allen for her great work in her community. We sure are lucky to have inspirational people like Jackie behind us. Check her out in action below!