November Charity of the Month: Jackson In Action 83

We’re honored to have the resources and the man-power to focus our efforts to making a difference for a new cause each month. As we kick off November, we are switching gears and devoting our time to supporting our newest Charity of the Month, the Jackson in Action 83 Foundation.

Broadly speaking, the mission of this foundation is to provide support to military families, focusing on the educational, emotional, and physical health of the children. But if we take a deeper look at the significance that this organization has made to the personal lives of our veterans and active military,  it is insurmountable.

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Many are familiar with the founder of this organization as former NFL athlete, Vincent Jackson. But only few are familiar with his story. As the son of two military parents, Vincent Jackson is familiar with the struggles and triumphs with that come with living in a military community.

Vincent has done more that just stay in shape during his off-seasons playing with the San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Feeling a strong commitment to serve the community in which he lives, Vincent launched the Jackson in Action 83 Foundation in November 2012.  This mission is especially close to Vincent’s heart because he knows what it’s like growing up in a military family.  As a child, his father was deployed to Germany and Panama, leaving Vincent and his mom at home.  He feels that one of the real threats to a close bond between military parents and their children is their deployment away from home.  Vincent’s desire is to parlay his success in football into an organization that can help military parents maintain close relationships with their kids, no matter the physical distance that may separate them.

In putting together the programs, Jackson in Action 83 solicits information and ideas from a wide range of resources, from academic experts to military personnel.  The consensus of the research shows that there are three areas of concern for the children of deployed families:

  1. Educational
    1. It’s not surprising that kids can have problems in school when a parent is deployed with one less parent at home to supervise homework and help when needed.  Some military parents get orders to move, thus the children have been to numerous schools and can’t build solid relationships or foundations.  Parents with a deployed spouse often face financial strains, which don’t allow them to have the extra funds for after school literacy programs, tutors or other educational activities.
  2. Emotional
    1. There is a lot written today about “emotional intelligence” and “happiness.”  We all know that how we feel impacts what we do.  With kids, it’s more difficult because they don’t always have the vocabulary to express how they feel.  They may “act out” their emotions by kicking their sibling, refusing to obey, and crying at school.  Often times, parents aren’t afforded an opportunity to recognize the problem due to the needs of other siblings, added house stresses, work…etc.
  3. Physical
    1. From fast food to video games, it’s not a shock that the added stress of deployment can lead to making decisions that are ultimately unhealthy. Kids start getting less exercise because staying inside and watching TV helps mom or dad get things done around the house.  It’s hard for a stateside parent to prepare healthy meals when they may be working a full-time job while trying to be both mom and dad at home.

But let’s face it, any parent could have told you that.  We all want our kids to be healthy (physical), happy (emotional), and do well in school (educational).  However, it makes sense that the added stress of deployment could create problems in one or all of those areas.  These are the pillars of Jackson in Action 83’s foundation.

Help us show support!

All throughout the month of November, we are selling Jackson in Action 83 bracelets for $5. These bracelets may be purchased at our Rock Shop and Hard Rock Cafe retail store. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of these bracelets benefit the charity. So when you rock your $5 bracelet, wear it with pride knowing that your purchase contributed to the educational, emotional or physical support of a military family.