The mission of the Jackson in Action 83 Foundation is to provide support to military families, focusing on the educational, emotional, and physical health of the children. Here’s a look at some of our programs with program development in some areas still underway. The Jackson in Action 83 Foundation’s standard is to be as resolute in our mission to help military families as those families’ soldiers are to protect our freedoms. We pledge to be the best possible stewards of the generous contributions made by our donors and supporters.
Danny DogTags Children’s Books
Lindsey and Vincent Jackson have set out to develop a series of three children’s books designed to help kids and their parents cope with some of the emotional issues that deployment can bring. By reading these books, the hope is that parents and their children can communicate about their feelings and find ways to solve problems. These age-appropriate books are designed to be fun to read, while highlighting both the struggles and triumphs deployed families face. The first book in the series is a partnership between the Jackson in Action 83 Foundation and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Published by Mascot Books, Danny Dogtags: Dealing with Deployment will be on sale June 2014 through Buccaneers.com and Tampa-area book retailers. Stay tuned for more information about how to purchase your autographed copy!
Salute to Reading Program
The Jackson in Action 83 Foundation launched the Salute to Reading program during assemblies at Ballast Point, Chiaramonte, and Tinker Elementary schools in October 2013. An incentive and recognition program designed to award outstanding students for reading improvement, the program includes students in third, fourth, and fifth grades. In keeping with the foundation’s mission of supporting military children and families, the Salute to Reading program runs in the three elementary schools that contain the majority of MacDill Air Force Base personnel’s children.
Working with the schools’ reading coaches, teachers, and administrators, students are encouraged to achieve certain milestones based on their personal reading goals. Each month, three students from each school (one from each grade) are selected by school staff members to attend a meet and greet with Vincent at One Buc Place. At the end of the school year, all the students selected throughout the year are invited to attend a year-end celebration. The first Salute to Reading Year-End Celebration was held on Thursday, May 15, 2014 at the Glazer Children’s Museum where the 63 young students and their parents explored the museum exhibits, enjoyed dinner in the banquet hall, and were treated to a surprise reading by Vincent of Danny Dogtags: Dealing with Deployment.
The goal of the program is to encourage students to develop their reading skills. Studies show that when children read just 20 minutes per day, it can increase their abilities in all subject areas, including writing, memory, spelling, and more.
Youth in Action Camp
The foundation will host its second annual Youth in Action Camp in June 2014 for kids ages six to 12 who are members of a military family. Hosted at One Buccaneer Place, the one-day camp includes games and activities on the practice fields, lunch in the team dining room, and, of course, encouraging words from Vincent about the challenges of growing up in a military household. Each participant will go home with a souvenir photo of themselves with Vincent, along with a goodie bag courtesy of the Buccaneers. The 2014 camp coincides with the launch of Danny Dogtags: Dealing with Deployment, so campers will each go home with a copy of the book as well.
The purpose of the Youth in Action Camp is to emphasis one of the foundation’s three pillars by encouraging youth to remain healthy and physically active, even in the face of challenges such as deployment and relocation. To see photos from the 2014 Youth in Action Camp and Danny Dogtags book launch, click here.
Military Moms Baby Shower
While most NFL players spend their Bye Week relaxing on vacation or catching up on rest, Vincent spent his 2014 Bye Week with some very special mothers. On October 19, 2014, Lindsey and Vincent Jackson and the Jackson in Action 83 Foundation hosted the inaugural Military Moms Baby Shower for 40 expecting or recently delivered military moms. The women invited were either themselves active duty military or the spouse/partner of an active duty soldier. Those who attended the shower represented MacDill Air Force Base, Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, and the Florida Air National Guard.
Hosted at the Epicurean Hotel in Tampa, guests were treated to an afternoon tea. The two authors of the popular parenting book Moms On Call were present to answer questions about newborn care, sleep scheduling, and more. Every military mom in attendance was surprised with $1,000 in merchandise, including a Chicco car seat and stroller, to help them care for their infant. Another $3,000+ worth of raffle items and door prizes were given away, including two full sized cribs with mattresses. In total, approximately $45,000 worth of merchandise was gifted to these deserving military moms! Generous donations and support for the event was provided by many sponsors, including Chicco, Carousel Designs, Better Life, Christian Family Movers, Cece and Caycakes, Del Frisco’s Grille, Dr. Brown’s, Earth Mama Angel Baby, Emily Ley, Fit4Mom, Glazer Children’s Museum, Boppy, Direct Buy of Tampa, Head Over Heels Photography, Moms on Call, Monkey Mat, Neat Cheeks, Timi & Leslie, Reeves Import Motorcars, and more. Click HERE to see photos from the inaugural Military Moms Baby Shower.
Military Family Home Makeover
The Jackson in Action 83 Foundation teamed up with KDS Interior Design Studios in the fall of 2014 to provide one local military family with a home makeover. Through a nomination process, the foundation selected one Tampa Bay area military family to receive a fresh new look in at least two rooms in their home.
To be nominated, the families had to include an active duty service member who served on deployment for at least four consecutive months within the previous 12 months. Nominations were open for military personnel E6 and below only.
After reading through many nominations, TSgt. Jessica Fleurimond, a 14-year member of the Air Force, was selected to receive the home makeover. Nominated by her husband Adam, Fleurimond was deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan from October 2013 – March 2014. Adam’s nomination read, in part:
“My beautiful wife was tasked for her very first deployment in her 13 year tenure back in January 2013. As soon as she was tasked, she immediately got into the “prep-mode” to get everything situated prior to her departure. She worked day in and day out from January 2013 all the way through the length of her deployment to ensure we (my son and I) were taken care of. My wife is a very neat and very organized person and I’m not sure how she does it all. Between prepping for deployment, going to predeployment training not once, but twice (she rolled her ankle Day 4 into training), studying for promotion, taking classes towards her MBA, ensuring our son was progressing well in the 2nd grade (she actually emailed the teacher while deployed), dealing with my loss of employment…this woman does it all!!! She never quits.
She ordered Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations and had them shipped all the way to Afghanistan to decorate her work center and spread cheer. She volunteered 2 days a week with this organization, Operation Outreach, where they helped build fuel donuts to provide to the Afghanistan community during the cold months. She does it with such dedication and never hesitates to still help others when asked. She even got coined by the General who runs her career field for the work she did in Afghanistan and for keeping her coworkers motivated and uplifted. She takes care of everyone else and sometimes, well all the time, forgets about herself. I love my wife and all that she does for us, the military, for everyone. She deserves this and so much more!!!”
The Fleurimonds received interior design upgrades, including new furniture in the living room and child’s bedroom, new paint, flooring, window treatments, decor, and more. Generous support for the home makeover was provided by KDS Interiors, Ultra Custom Group, The Drapery Company, Robyn Story Designs, T2THES, Tibbet’s Lumber, Direct Buy of Tampa, Comphy, Interior Trading, Carpet Crafters Rug Company, and others. Click here to see before and after photos of the home. The Fleurimonds were surprised with their home makeover on November 3, 2014, just in time to celebrate Veterans Day. See some of the local news coverage of the Military Family Home Makeover from Chris Fischer at WTSP and Jason Biesel at ABC Action News.
With help from presenting sponsor the DeBartolo Family Foundation, the Jackson in Action 83 Foundation hosted a Fall Festival on Saturday, November 8, 2014 for military children at Old McMicky’s Farm in Odessa. The children who attended the event currently have a parent deployed overseas. The goal of the Fall Festival is to provide a joyful event for military children who may be facing personal and emotional challenges while separated from a parent for an extended period of time. As always, Vincent was there throughout the event to greet the children, take photos, and even join them on a hayride. During the Fall Festival, children received a tour of Old McMicky’s Farm which includes an old-fashioned hayride, pony rides, cow milking, and interactions with other animals such as goats, pigs, turkeys, and chickens. Following the tour, the children and their families enjoyed a catered lunch beside Crescent Lake. Check out photos from the Fall Festival HERE.
Salute to Scholars
As an alumni of Widefield High School in Colorado Springs, Vincent wants to give back to the school that gave him so much. A $2,500 scholarship is gifted annually to one graduating senior at WHS who is a child of active duty, retired, or deceased military personnel. Eligible students must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA and plan to attend a four-year college or university, trade/vocational school, or community college. The first scholarship was awarded in May 2014 and will continue for years to follow. For the first time in 2015 a Salute to Scholars scholarship will be awarded to a student in the Tampa Bay area as well. Applications for the Widefield High School and Tampa Bay area Salute to Scholars Program are now available. The deadline for application submission is Friday, April 3, 2015. To obtain information and an application, email Executive Director Allison Gorrell.