Giants' Justin Tuck Doing Some Good
Well, football is important -- the sport helps some go to college, and if you're lucky enough, you go to the NFL. Giants defensive end Justin Tuck is about helping people, and is using football to do it.
Tuesday night at Chelsea Piers in New York, Tuck, along with several people associated with athletics on and off the field, will talk to about 150 kids in high school and college about the importance of using sports as a means to better their lives. The program is put on as part of the New Yorkers For Children organization.
Tuck will be joined by former NBA star Alonzo Mourning and CJ Brown, a former football player at Columbia, who now works for JP Morgan.
The children in attendance on Tuesday are in the New York City foster-care system.
Brown grew up in foster care and he, along with Tuck, want to tell the kids to use sports not just to improve on the field, but off it as well. Tuck is part of the Network to Success panel that provides kids in foster care an opportunity to rub elbows with the sports elite.
"We're just going to have a good time in terms of trying to help these kids and help them overcome their obstacles," Tuck said. "When you turn 18, you are put out by yourself. You don't get the support by the foster care system. This program steps up and helps the kids find their way."
According to New Yorkers for Children, there are about 17,000 kids in the foster care system -- a staggering amount. The program has back-to-school packages, Network-to-Success, guardian scholars and youth financial empowerment for the kids.
The event on Tuesday falls under the Network-to-Success banner, which allows Tuck to help on a more one-on-one basis.
"A lot of people take for granted family," said Tuck, who is from Kellyton, Ala. "I didn't have a lot of money growing up. We didn't have a any fancy cars or houses, but what I had was a support system.Where I knew I had people who had my best interest and when I needed help, I had a shoulder to cry on when things weren't going well and also pat you on the back when you're doing a pretty good job. I understand the importance of family and friendship."
In the last 12 years, the organization has had donations from individuals, corporations and foundations to help the kids in the program.
Tuck and others involved believe in the cause, and that's why Tuesday night is special to them.
"For some of these kids in the foster-care system, they don't have that family member or friend to point them in the right direction," Tuck said. "I think this program is needed and I'm excited to be apart of it."