Buffalo Bills defensive end Marcus Stroud, linebacker Aaron Maybin, cornerback Drayton Florence, defensive end Spencer Johnson, and linebackers Chris Ellis and Kawika Mitchell teamed up to provide 200 inner-city youth in Buffalo with some back-to-school supplies on September 3, 2010.
The Bills players visited the Edwards Saunders Community Center on Bailey Avenue in Buffalo and provided 200 stuffed book bags to kids of all ages. They personally distributed the book bags that were filled with notebooks, pens, pencils, computer and video games and books. The bags were for both girls and boys and the children were represented by the Saunders Community Center and the following Police Athletic League (PAL) community centers – Lincoln, JFK and Hennepin.
Organizing the event and obtaining the assistance of their teammates were Stroud and Maybin.
"Marcus and I both come from inner-city communities," said Maybin. "We felt it was important to join forces and get together and help the inner-city kids where there is such a dire need."
"I just want to help these kids get off to a good start to the school year," said Stroud. "We start things on the football field this week and the kids start things in the classroom this week."
The proactive efforts of Stroud, Maybin and their teammates were greatly appreciated by Susan Gonzalez, PAL executive director.
"We received a call from Marcus that he wanted to help kick things off on the right foot for the school year," said Gonzalez. "It's been an unbelievable opportunity."
Stroud is no stranger to PAL. He has worked with Gonzalez and PAL on different projects throughout the year including the Sack Literacy Program. The Sack Literacy Program involves the community centers and PAL centers to encourage their kids to read books provided by PAL and send their book reports to Stroud for review. The center that read the most books got a pizza party and visit from Stroud.
The mission of the Police Athletic League of Buffalo, Inc. is to improve the immediate and future quality of life for the youth of the city of Buffalo and surrounding communities though educational, recreational, cultural, environmental, and prevention programming. The PAL provides children with leadership, direction, and opportunity by affording them structured, supervised, and organized activities, opportunities, and programs in a climate which they can accomplish individual and common goals; enabling them to become responsible, successful adults.
For more information about the Police Athletic League of Buffalo, visit www.buffalopal.com.