WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 30, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — Students at Lely High School’s Construction Academy worked with an unusual team of apprentices for their community service project on March 29. More than 20 former NFL football players from around the country, along with volunteers from the Collier Building Industry Foundation, spent the afternoon with the students pounding nails instead of opposing players as they constructed storage sheds for homes built by Habitat for Humanity of Collier County.
“Former NFL players are known for our strength on the playing field, but today we are here to demonstrate to these young people that strength of character—through community service—is much more important,” said Reggie Smith, former Tampa Bay Buccaneer and president of the Chicago NFLPA former players’ chapter.
Former players including Brig Owens (Washington Redskins), Isiah Robertson (Los Angeles Rams), Nolan Harrison (Pittsburgh Steelers), Calvin Snowden (San Diego Chargers), Marvin Smith (Oakland Raiders), John Stufflebeem (Detroit Lions) and Dewey McClain (Atlanta Falcons) joined Smith as project volunteers. The players are in Florida to attend the National Football League Players’ Association (NFLPA) Annual Convention on Marco Island.
The students, who are pursuing careers in home building and related trades, got to teach construction skills to the player volunteers as they worked side-by-side to build the sheds, which will be provided to needy families in the Naples area. More than 40 students, former players, and local home builders (CBIF) volunteered for the project.
“The students have worked hard all year to learn the skills they need to get jobs and become contributing members of the community,” said Greg Foote, Construction Academy teacher. “It has been such a reward and inspiration for them to be able to work alongside their football player heroes and learn important character-building lessons here today.”
“The members of the Collier Building Industry Foundation are thrilled to partner with former NFL players to make a positive impact on our community—both by building these sheds for needy families as well as setting an example to the students that they can choose to set goals, work hard and achieve their dreams.” said Bill Ryan, CBIF board of directors president.
The Collier Building Industry Foundation provides housing-related educational activities and supports the Construction Academies at Lely High School, Palmetto Ridge High School and the construction program at Immokalee Technical Center.
“Habitat for Humanity relies on the generosity and dedication of volunteers like the students, former NFL players and home builders here today to work towards our vision of a world in which everyone has a decent home,” said Nick Kouloheras, Habitat for Humanity of Collier County executive vice president of land development and construction.
The project was part of Touchdown for Homes (http://www.touchdownforhomes.com/), a nationwide charitable outreach program of the National Association of Home Builders and the NFLPA that is bringing together local home builders’ associations and former NFL players to strengthen communities by building or renovating homes for children or families in need and veterans.
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