A group of local kids had a great experience this summer thanks to a football hero.
Vincent Jackson is the son of military parents with his dad serving more than 20 years in the U.S. Army and his mother serving briefly before working as a civilian for the military. When Jackson arrived in Tampa to play for the Buccaneers, he quickly realized that the military makes up a large part of the Tampa Bay area with MacDill Air Force Base and many other Coast Guard, Marine, and Reserve units in the region.
“Once he knew this was the place, he would set down his roots and make his home for years to come. He knew this was also the place to launch his foundation which would support military children and families,” said Allison Gorrell, executive director of the Jackson in Action 83 Foundation. “In 2012, Vincent and his wife, Lindsey, created the Jackson in Action 83 Foundation, whose mission is to provide support to military families, focusing on the educational, emotional and physical health of the children. As a military child himself, Vincent understood firsthand the unique challenges and scenarios that military children and families face, and he wanted to create a foundation to help them navigate those scenarios.”
The Jackson in Action 83 Foundation strives to focus primarily on the family unit with programs that support the spouses and children as much as the military members themselves.
“Our programs center on reading, scholarships and physical activity for military kids, while our Military Moms Baby Shower, holiday programs and more support the family unit as a whole,” Gorrell said. “The foundation focuses all programming on our three pillars of educational, emotional and physical health of military children and families, but we allow ourselves the flexibility to expand, enhance and adapt our programs based on the current needs of the military community.”
The foundation recently celebrated its eighth annual Youth in Action Camp at Heroes Paradise in Brandon on July 30.
“The annual camp invites military children ages 6-15 to register for free to enjoy a morning of fun and games before enjoying lunch from PDQ and taking home a goody bag complete with one of our Danny Dogtags books, sports towel, T-shirt and more,” Gorrell said. “Our next big event is the eighth annual Military Moms Baby Shower coming up on November 6. This annual event has provided more than $580,000 in goods and services to expecting military families over the last seven years. We will launch the application period soon for military families who are expecting bundles of joy.”
If you would like to learn more about the Jackson in Action 83 Foundation, you can visit its website at www.jacksoninaction83.org.