Richard Obert, Arizona Republic
Published 12:25 p.m. ET April 5, 2020 | Updated 2:12 p.m. ET April 5, 2020
USA TODAY Sports’ Mike Jones breaks down the status of the 2020 NFL regular season.
GILBERT, Arizona — Jay Feely has time on his hands, as do many people these days who are at home, praying and hoping for the coronavirus pandemic to slow down.
So instead of sitting idly by as he wakes up every day to see another alarming number of cases and deaths related to COVID-19, the 14-year NFL veteran figured he’d do something about it.
With the help of his son Jace, a junior kicker on Gilbert Christian’s football team, they are purchasing meals from restaurants and taking them to the healthcare workers and first responders who are on the front lines of this battle, thanking them for risking their lives.
“The reason we wanted to do it, we were watching (the numbers) sitting at home,” the former Arizona Cardinals kicker said. “My whole career, through the greatest blessing of playing in the NFL, I was given a platform where I can do some good.
“I’ve been to Haiti. It’s relevant to what is going on. I thought, ‘What can I do to help?’ I saw a story in Washington. It was two-fold. You can help the restaurant and small business that is hurting right now. You purchase meals from them and at the same time you bring them to first responders and thank them for risking their lives.”
On Thursday, he started a gofundme page, called, “Food Fighters,” asking for donations that would help the local restaurants and the medical personnel and first responders. The goal is $10,000. As of Friday mid-afternoon, nearly $8,000 was raised.
Former Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner contributed $1,000 to the cause, as did Jay Feely himself.
So many ppl stepping up to do their part… here is something my friend @jayfeely & his son, Jace, are doing to help during this crisis! If compelled to give & be an extension of their unselfishness please do… https://t.co/RGIdYP2ebZ
— Kurt Warner (@kurt13warner) April 2, 2020
“Honestly, I hope we do 10 times more than that (goal),” Feely said.
Feely, who was named by The Arizona Republic as the girls soccer Coach of the Year this season after leading Gilbert Christian to the state title, said he and his son are delivering the meals.
They wear masks and gloves to stay safe, but the reward is seeing how grateful and generous everybody has been.
“It gives me another view of what other people are doing,” Jace said. “I’m just doing online school. These people are struggling to keep their restaurants open and other people are battling for others to keep them alive.”
No high school online classes teaches this.
This might be the best education Jace is receiving during this health crisis.
“It’s good to get outside of yourself,” Jay said. “People are losing family members, people you love. The impact it’s having on families. It is forcing them to spend more time and to hang out and talk and to play games. It’s probably something we needed more in society, than just running ragged with all kind of events that don’t really matter at the the end of the day.”
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