There are a lot of athletes, celebrities, and people with platforms out there in the world. But unfortunately, only a very small percentage of those people use their platforms for good. Malik Jackson is one of those people who has taken advantage of the platform he worked so very hard for to make the world a better place.
And THAT is why he is our Real One of the Week on Skyline Spew. This is a man who goes out of his way to give back to the community; to give back and touch those who are less fortunate; to be a beacon of hope and show those that need guidance that even a Super Bowl Champion and Pro Bowler cares about them and wants to improve their life.
I was lucky enough to meet Malik at an esports event, Pros vs G.I. Joes, at the Novacare Complex last year that was held for veterans. These veterans were able to play their favorite video games against Eagles players such as Malik, giving them a chance to be thanked for their service in a fun and unique way. Tons of athletes make time for these types of charitable events, right?
Wrong. Malik was undergoing rehab for a Lisfranc injury he had endured in Game 1 vs Washington last year. Not only was he rehabbing, but he was also still going to practice and going to position meetings as well. This guy had already spent 12 hours at the facility and still made time for Veterans. Now, I did beat him in Madden (sorry Malik) but the way he interacted with each and every person that was there was such a welcome change from some of the charitable events I had been to before. Malik wanted to be there and he made every single person in that room feel that way.
— #SaveLaSalleBASE – James Santore (@JamesSantore) November 14, 2019
So when I was given the chance to interview Malik for his work with Burlington Stores, I jumped on the opportunity (Shout out Eddie Rage – go subscribe and listen to Rose Buds). Malik, along with some of his Eagles teammates, donated more than 1,500 coats to the Philadelphia and Camden communities. In turn, Burlington Stores announced they would be matching his generosity by donating an additional 1,000 coats.
2,500 coats. As crazy as it is to think about, a coat can literally save someone’s life. When I look outside my window right now at the ~eight inches of snow on the ground, I can almost feel the cold. But I am doing that from the comfort of my warm, artificially heated home. Unfortunately, not everyone has this luxury. So 2,500 coats to those who do not have heat; who do not have homes; who literally do not even own a coat, is life changing.
This is Burlington’s 14th year doing this Coat Drive, and I would also like to applaud them for their work in making the world a better place. Burlington, along with Malik and his teammates, have selected local nonprofit’s Fred’s Footsteps and Cradles to Crayons to donate the 2,500 coats to.
But this Coat Drive is not limited to just athletes. WE can all do our part to help this amazing cause. Click this link to find out more about the 14th Annual Burlington Coat Drive (ends January 4th) and find a store where you can drop off a coat. I know that I will be dropping off 5-10 coats to help the cause, and I want to thank Malik and Burlington for giving me the push I needed to be able to make a difference this holiday season.
I had never interviewed anyone until I had the chance to interview Malik earlier this week. I had such an awesome time talking to him and am so appreciative for his willingness to speak to me about this cause and answer some of my ridiculous questions in the latter part of the interview. Every single person needs to look at all of the amazing things Malik has done on and off the field and realize that he personifies the phrase “More than an athlete.”
I am honored to have Malik as my first interview and the first guest in Skyline Spew history. Keep making the world a better place Malik. We should all strive to #BeLikeMalik. Can’t wait to watch you sack Kyler 5 times on Sunday. Go Birds.
Find out more about Malik’s Foundation “Malik’s Gifts” here: https://maliksgifts.org/
Read Malik’s article on why he started his foundation to help military families: https://www.philadelphiaeagles.com/news/malik-jackson-and-the-gift-of-giving-back