Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Lerentee McCray hosted a back-to-school shopping event July 23 at Academy Sports + Outdoors in Jacksonville to benefit 30 children from the Sulzbacker Village, a community for homeless women and children.
"Coming from my upbringing and my roots and where I came from," McCray said, "we didn't have that many resources coming from my city and my community. I took advantage of the resources that I did have, and I just want to help these kids and give these kids resources that they can be able to be helped through their situation and what they're going through right now.
McCray, who does philanthropic work through his Big Play McCray Foundation, said he hopes to inspire disadvantaged youth to continue their education and succeed in life.
"They have a tough situation that they're dealing with and it's easy for them to get distracted," he said. "I just want them to remain passionate for their academics. I've been talking to those kids once a month for the past year, helping them to keep the same drive, the passion, the desire to do well in school."
Following an autograph signing and brief press conference, participating children shopped for clothing, shoes and school supplies.
The Big Play McCray Foundation provides at-risk youth with outreach programs that include physical fitness activities, education advancement workshops and wellness programs to promote healthy and active lifestyles as well as higher education.