|NFL player, Braylon Edwards, Focuses Hope on Feeding the Children
|By Renita A. Smith & Alan Burdziak
For The South End
Published: Saturday, June 27, 2009
Updated: Saturday, June 27, 2009
Focus: Hope, along with Feed the Children and the Braylon Edwards Foundation handed out 400 boxes of food and personal care items designed to last one week to needy Detroiters.
Before the distribution of goods, Detroit native Braylon Edwards and several dignitaries spoke to a small group of media and supporters.
Leading the address was Edwards’ mother and foundation director, Malesa Plater. Other speakers included City Council President Ken Cockrel, Jr., Vice President of International Relations for Feed the Children Steve Whetstone and Focus: Hope co-founder Eleanor Josaitis.
The focus of the presentation was Edwards’ foundation and the importance of giving back to the community. Cockrel presented Edwards with two awards, including the Spirit of Detroit Award, complete with signatures from all nine members of city council and a Spirit of Detroit lapel pin.
“It’s about giving,” Edwards said.
The group of charities is “trying to make the city a better place,” Edwards said, by feeding and educating people in need.
Edwards hopes he can inspire others to do something charitable in their own neighborhoods.
“The big thing for me is just showing people that it’s ok to give back. Start small and it ends up getting big."
He also likes working with the other organizations, citing that his relationship with Focus: Hope started over three years ago and has flourished since because he said that they are so wonderful with which to work.
Edwards said that since the three organizations have come together they are, “working together to do as much as we can."
Cockrel also hopes that Edwards’ actions can make others follow suit.
“The thing that’s special about this though is this is a hometown celebrity coming back to his community and giving back. I think that’s important and hopefully it’ll inspire folks in the community, particularly young people to think in terms of what they can do maybe on a smaller scale because they don’t have the resources or the clout of somebody like Braylon Edwards,” Cockrel said.
Focus: Josaitis and the late Father William T. Cunningham founded Hope, on Detroit’s northwest side, after the notorious riots in 1967. They offer training centers to support education and health needs of Detroit residents. Their goals are to aid people to become financially independent. Josaitis spoke about the importance of giving in times of need. She said the most frequent call I receive are form seniors who say don’t tell my children, but I need food and I don’t want to be a burden.
Feed the Children is a 30-year operative dedicated to helping hungry and hurting people. It is no wonder why there involvement is valuable to this initiative.
“We see ourselves as the go-between,” said Steve Whetstone, “We see ourselves as the hands and the boots on the ground.”
Whetstone continued to assert the nobility of Edwards and his foundation for putting on such a giving enterprise. Through this partnership, “We are the arms and the legs of Braylon Edwards,” said Whetstone.
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