Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Gridiron Giving: Jason Witten's SCORE Foundation

Our look at the charitable pursuits of current and retired NFL players continues with the SCORE Foundation, founded by Dallas Cowboys star tight end Jason Witten to help children who have been living with domestic abuse.

Children who grow up witnessing domestic abuse in their homes are typically left with low self-esteem, negative views of relationships and confusion about the role violence plays in relationships.  These feelings increase the risk that these children, particularly boys, will exhibit abusive behavior as they become adults.  The result can be a cycle of violence that continues from generation to generation.

The mission of the SCORE Foundation ("SCORE" stands for "Support, Community, Overcome, Rebuild, Educate") is to break the cycle of violence by reaching out to the children of domestic violence.  Its cornerstone program, SCOREkeepers, places fully-trained male mentors in women’s shelters throughout Texas.  The hope is that these mentors will be examples of positive male behavior for the children living in such shelters.  To date, the program has placed mentors in six shelters across the state.  Jason Witten also treats these kids to Christmas parties and outings like trips to Cowboys training camp.  The Foundation has also launched a new program called “Coaching Boys Into Men.”  Through this program, coaches are trained to educate their players on the dangers of dating violence.
Witten and Dallas QB Tony Romo at The Family Place, a shelter in Dallas

Outside of the SCORE Foundation, Witten continues his commitment to children by being active in Boys & Girls Clubs and encouraging children to be active and eat a healthy diet.  He is a major endorser of the NFL’s Play 60 program and has launched his own initiative, Move.Play.SCORE.  He and his wife, Michelle, also funded the construction of an ER waiting room at The Children’s Hospital at Johnson City Medical Center in Johnson City, Tennessee.  

You can find out more information about the SCORE Foundation by visiting Jason’s web site at http://www.jasonwitten82.com/ssp/foundation.  If you support the philosophy that showing children of domestic violence that it is possible to have positive relationships may help break the cycle of abuse, I hope you’ll consider making a donation.  The Foundation is funded by Witten himself, along with a few corporate sponsors. 

In case you missed them, here are links to other Naptime Huddle posts in the Gridiron Giving series so far:

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