A defining characteristic of a playmaker is the desire to help others succeed. Whether that means setting up a play to help a teammate score or connecting to people or causes in need of help, the spirit of teamwork drives positive outcomes. This is the heart of The Playmakers’ Sports Philanthropy initiative.
Jackie believes in the power of sports philanthropy and recently completed the Sports Philanthropy Executive Certificate program at George Washington University. The only one of its kind, the program emphasizes athletic social responsibility and partnerships with non-profit organizations. It is a focus that has powerful impact; with Jackie’s insight and expertise, strong sport philanthropy partnerships are forged between non-profits, schools, club teams or individual athletes.
Jackie’s connection to Boys Hope Girls Hope (BHGH) exemplifies this power of partnership. As its mission states, Boys Hope Girls Hope helps academically capable and motivated children-in-need to meet their full potential and become men and women for others by providing value-centered, family-like homes, opportunities and education through college.
And to do, the charity relies on contributions. That’s where Greg Scruggs, New England Patriots Tight End and owner of two Super Bowl rings, comes in. Greg, a BHGH alumnus, is both athlete and ambassador for the organization. His close collaboration with Jackie at the 2017 fundraising breakfast in Arizona demonstrates the power of sports philanthropy: the event, attended by 565 guests, raised a record-setting $235,000 after his energizing and inspiring speech.
Greg’s participation follows in the footsteps of Arizona Cardinals Patrick Peterson and David Johnson, as well as Calgary Flames hockey player Michael Stone—they may play different sports, but they share the same commitment to give back to the community.
And sports philanthropy can’t begin too early: Jackie recently helped connect Phoenix Rush Soccer and Phoenix Children’s Hospital to create a youth sports philanthropy partnership. It’s an opportunity to model philanthropy to very young athletes, imparting values for life.