I had the opportunity this past week to do some volunteer work. I like to try and find different organizations each year to volunteer with and this year I found Gary Brown’s. You may recall that Gary Brown, a Long Island native last played Offensive tackle for the Green Bay Packers in 1996. Mr. Brown started Gary’s Youth Foundation (http://www.gbb68foundation.com) to help disadvantaged youth through mentoring and of course football.

His foundation also transforms over the holidays to collect food, prepare meals and deliver them to families in need. I met Mr. Brown this past week where I volunteered to sort and pack up food collected and donated. I watched him greet every single person that came to volunteer and he took extra time with every child. It was very special to watch him with the children, he engaged them and was genuine and made each child feel special about their involvement no matter how big or small. I was so impressed with him that I also volunteered to help on Thanksgiving Day.

Gary’s Youth Foundation runs like a well oiled Offensive Line. I reported to the Family Service League in Brentwood at 8:30 am on Thanksgiving morning.The Family Service League provides housing for those in need from all walks of life. The food we had sorted had been taking to a catering facility that cooked it all and made single portion dinners. Again, Gary was there to greet and thank very single person that was there, and it was quite a crowd.

Former NFL players like Gary Brown are out there doing great thing and being charitable and it’s great to see and be a part of. Most of the news that is reported is negative and it is comforting to know that good things are happening, people do care and together people can make a difference. Gary’s Youth Foundation is making a difference and I saw it in the faces of those who received the meals and in Gary’s face when he spoke to each volunteer and resident. I am thankful that there are people like Gary in the NFL that care enough to put disadvantaged people in the forefront and let them know they are loved.