With cold weather approaching, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain teamed up with Wal-Mart on Monday November 13 for his inaugural coat drive.
McClain, along with his ”Team McClain” volunteers, were on hand at Wal-Mart in Port Covington with 300 children from Baltimore-area Boys and Girls Clubs. The children were given new coats, hats, gloves and scarves, all compliments of McClain and Wal-Mart.
“We had an opportunity to have a great partnership with Wal-Mart and give 300 kids from the Baltimore area jackets. I was young. I know the importance of having something warm to wear and wanted to make sure they were taken care of,” said McClain.
The kids on hand were also treated to a great surprise when McClain’s teammates Michael Oher and Bernard Pierce arrived to help pass out the new coats.
“This is just a dream come true. Not only do we get new coats and hats and gloves but we get to meet the Ravens.” hollered a student as he waited in line with his teacher.
With the holidays quickly approaching McClain and his team will be in full force in the community this year.
“My holidays are going to be crazy busy this year and exciting. I have the ‘Kicks for Kids,’ ‘Toys For Tots,’ and the Turkey giveaway programs all upcoming. We have lots going on,” said McClain.
The Philadelphia native recalls his own personal tough times growing up and how thankful he was for the Salvation Army and the work that they do.
During his childhood there were periods of homelessness in which he, his mother and three siblings lived at a Salvation Army rescue center in Philadelphia, PA. “You’d just have nights where food was a figment of your stomach’s imagination, where you would go to bed hungry,” McClain recalls. “Having the same jeans weeks at a time, sharing a room at the shelter with strangers and having to be there at a certain time, worrying that people were going to come in your room after you were asleep and mess with you…there were some tough times.”
The Baltimore area communities are fortunate to have such a role model for their kids. While a force to be reckoned with one the field, he is also a force to be reckoned with in the battle to improve quality of life for everyone.