Marcell Dareus didn’t understand what the children were saying, but he knew he wanted to help.
The Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle was touring Haiti in February 2017 with Hope for Haiti — a nonprofit organization whose goal is to improve the quality of life for Haitian people, particularly children — and was astounded when he saw the destruction that still remained from the earthquake that devastated the country in January 2010. Especially when he saw the more than 800 children the organization was trying to help.
That’s when he continued to pledge his support for Hope for Haiti, and it’s partly why he returned to the country for a second time in June.nfl nike jerseys for cheap
“It means the world to me,” Dareus said last month. “It’s an opportunity where I can just help out, give a little bit back. Can’t change the world but I can change a life. Just a little token.”
Dareus’ connection to the country is through his father Jules Dareus, who grew up in Haiti before immigrating to the United States as a young adult. Jules died when Marcell was 8 years old and Dareus had long wanted to go to Haiti to learn about his heritage and possibly find some relatives he had never met.
That feeling intensified after the earthquake and Hurricane Matthew, which hit Haiti in October 2016. The country had not yet recovered from the earthquake when Matthew hit. Dareus did some research, found out about Hope for Haiti, and donated $25,000 to the organization.
Dareus met with Haiti’s prime minister Dr. Jack Guy Lafontant, high-level government officials, Hope for Haiti board members and others before traveling to the school for the dedication.
“This new school building will revolutionize education in the whole community,” school director Augustin Bertrand said in a statement. “For the first time the Cammy children will have a nice, standardized and safe place to learn.”
In addition, Dareus has pledged additional funds to Hope for Haiti through his own foundation. The money will go to help with school construction, teacher training, salaries and mobile clinics.
Dareus said he’s hoping to make more trips to Haiti in the future and wants to continue to help the country and the children. He’s not concerned about whether his involvement will spur others to help, though.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale
“To be honest, I don’t really care what anybody else does,” he said. “This is just coming from me, how I feel, from the heart. I’m not asking anything. I just want to help out.”