We are thankful for soccer cleats, clean gym socks and batting gloves. We are also thankful for The Bronx, physically active kids, and our national spokesperson Jesse Palmer.

Just to bring you up to speed, Jesse is the following: retired NFL Giants quarterback, ESPN analyst, DailyMail TV co-host, fitness junkie and vlogger extraordinaire. It’s quite a resume he totes, and Good Sports is lucky enough to be on it as his chosen charity.

Having Jesse as our official spokesperson helps to spread our message, but he also serves as a physical representation as to how youth sports can assist all kids in becoming well rounded adults.

Our team from Good Sports and Jesse got to spend an afternoon in the Bronx with the kids of WHEDco, one of the awesome programs we’ve donated equipment to. We call it a site visit: touching base with the kids and crew of a past donation. We want to make sure their needs have been met and see if there is anything else we can do to help their cause.

Women’s Housing and Economic Development Center (WHEDCo) is a women-lead (and founded) organization that is a major proponent in affordable housing development in the Bronx, as well as a resource for local families. They trailblaze new pathways in helping young people grow, including working with several local New York City schools to host a variety of after school programs. In January, WHEDCo had applied for – and received – a $16,000 donation to serve all the youth programs they run.

It’s such a treat to recognize other women-lead programs (We’re in that category, too!), especially during International Women’s Month. Of course, WHEDCo provides afterschool programs to all kids – but this was an extra special moment for Jesse and us at Good Sports. In just the last two years, we have donated over $1 million specifically to girls in sports!

The kids of WHEDco were thrilled to have new playmates; having Jesse there meant play time! Hydration was key, though – we ended up in some very heated competition. Have you ever played soccer with four goals? We did! The WHEDco kids are good at it; like, scary good.

Before any games started, Jesse took the time to chat with the WHEDCo kids. Everywhere Jesse goes, he represents us and our mission well: he reiterates that sports isn’t about going pro or being the best. It’s about learning skills on the field as a kid and then bringing those skills off the field into adulthood.

“Sports helped me in school,” Jesse said to the crowd. “And I’m still friends with many of the guys I played with!”

The advantages of sports in a child’s life are well known: from the development of social skills, to being engaged in the classroom: the benefits are boundless. When kids meet Jesse and learn about his role with Good Sports, they see a tangible reason as to why being active is important. They are reminded that playing, exercising, and moving – it’s an opportunity to grow and find success. In short, Jesse reminds kids that being active and willing to play leads to a happy and fulfilled life.


All photos by Evan Scales, JackRabbit Design