Saturday, December 22, 2012

Random acts of kindness

It was interesting when I noticed a new story on ESPN at the gym...

There I was, switching out clothes to hit the lap pool over lunch and, like usual, the locker room tv was fixed on ESPN.  What else would be on?

The news flash was a picture of Stevie Johnson, wide receiver from the Buffalo Bills, standing beside a couple holding a wide screen tv box. The "VIZIO'S Touchdowns for TV'S" is a contest that gives TV's to fans and one to the Boys and Girls Club when Johnson scores a touchdown.  I get the impression that Johnson does not pay for the TV's on his own, rather VIZIO donates them and works out the program using Johnson as the PR.

That's cool.  Nice to give to the fans and also support the Girls and Boys club, but what rubbed me a little bit was that there are other NFL players lesser known than Stevie helping those in need in less conventional ways.

Take for example John Phillips of the Dallas Cowboys.  He's not burning up the stat books, but when you play behind talents like Jason Witten, getting on the field isn't easy.  Phillips has made some plays, but he's not your high profile NFL player.

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 28: John Phillips #89 of the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on October 28, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

At least, that was before last week.  That was anyplace but Kansas City.  Anyone that listens to the 98.9 KQRC radio morning show now knows the name of John Phillips, the unconventional philanthropist.

98.9 runs "Hope for the Holidays".  This program has been going for 15 or 16 years and helps those in need that do not qualify for traditional programs.  It's aim is to give a "hand up" to those on the edge that without the help, would fall off and lose houses, cars, jobs and have no Christmas.  They range from people that fell on hard times from work woes or those that deal with severe health issues of family and cannot keep all of the plates spinning on poles to make ends meet.

 John Phillips just happen to be in town last week for a family member with health issues, and his agent turned him onto the show.  Phillips called in early last week to donate $1200 for a family to cover rent while they catch up on medical bills and then donated $1000 last Friday for a family to afford a nice Christmas and proper care for a child with severe food allergies and medical issues.

I'm not dumping on Stevie Johnson and the VIZIO program, but I'm just saying there's more going on that giving TV's to people not really in need per say.  Kids don't need 60 inch TV's to watch shows, but families need rent, electric, water and healthcare.  Instead of teaming up with a corporate sponsor, Phillips just called up and donated his hard earned money.  No matches, no contests.  He just gave.

Maybe ESPN can look a little deeper for random acts of kindness and charity.

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