Why Give to the Jason Taylor Foundation?
Giving back. It is a simple concept, but one not grasped often enough. One person who fully understands what it means to give back, however is Jason Taylor, legendary Miami Dolphins Defensive End, 2007 NFL Man of the Year, and 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee. From his humble beginnings as a Pittsburgh youth serving as a missionary, to his endless hours of community involvement as an NFL superstar, Jason has always given something of himself to those less fortunate.
In July 2004, Jason’s philanthropy inspired him to establish the Jason Taylor Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) organization. The Foundation’s mission is to support and create programs that facilitate the personal growth and empowerment of South Florida’s children in need by focusing on improved health care, education and quality of life.
Since opening its doors, the Jason Taylor Foundation has contributed more than $6,000,000 in programs and services to benefit youth. The foundation prides itself on innovative, impactful programming. With Jason’s undying commitment and the continued support of community members and civic leaders alike, the Jason Taylor Foundation will work tirelessly to achieve its goal of building a better future for the youth of South Florida.
What Your Gift Could Mean to South Florida Kids In Need . . .
Regardless of the denomination, your gift to the Jason Taylor Foundation could make a world of difference for a deserving child right here in your South Florida community.
A Gift of $10 could allow one deserving child to participate in Big Screens – Big Dreams, a program was created by Jason Taylor to inspire and motivate young people in South Florida through feature films. Jason recognizes the tremendous impact movies have on today’s youth and uses positive, uplifting stories to teach and inspire.
A Gift of $15 could provide a new back pack full of back-to-school supplies for one child in conjunction with Cool Gear for the School Year, a program that provides 60 underserved children from Miami-Dade and Broward Counties the opportunity to participate in a “Back to School” shopping experience.
A Gift of $20 could could provide one age-appropriate toy or holiday gift for an ill child at Holtz Children’s Hospital. Each December, Jason, along with his family and foundation staff, visits dozens of young patients a Holtz to deliver holiday cheer, words of encouragement, carols and even poetry to those who will be unable to celebrate at their own homes.
A Gift of $30 would provide all necessary reading materials, texts and workbooks for one student at the Jason Taylor Reading Room for an entire school year. The Reading Room is a comprehensive after-school program designed to address academic challenges among inner-city youth, particularly in the areas of literacy and is provided at no cost to the families of the attendees.
A Gift of $50 could allow one child to participate in JT’s Ping-Pong Smash Kids’ Clinic, offering children from youth organizations throughout South Florida the opportunity to learn a range of ping-pong skills and strategies from a celebrated professional. Each child receives a paddle, Ping-Pong Smash t-shirt & hat, 90 minutes of expert instruction, dinner and an invite to stick around and watch JT’s Ping-Pong Smash main event. During the tournament, kids can watch celebrities compete against one another in pursuit of the “World Champion” belt while also receiving celebrity autographs, playing video games, eating popcorn, cotton candy and snacks, and testing their basketball, football and baseball skills with a 3-in-1 inflatable. The entire program is free to every child who attends.
A Gift of $100 could provide an age-appropriate and child-friendly recreational and educational environment for 20 hospitalized kids through the Jason Taylor Learning Center at Holtz Children’s Hospital. The center provides access to technology, even when a patient is unable to leave his or her room. Laptops are provided to patients in order to support important family and friend connections via e-mail, social networks, and other websites. By designating specific “parent laptops” for families, the Jason Taylor Learning Center has also created a way for caregivers to access important resources such as e-mail, bill pay, and online banking, as well as educational and supportive websites.
A Gift of $200 could facilitate one high school team’s participation in Louder Than a Bomb Florida (LTABFLA), a 13-day spoken word poetry festival highlighted by a friendly competition taking place in dynamic venues throughout South Florida. A diverse group of students, parents, administrators and community members representing more than 40 schools participated in the 2016 LTABFLA, creating authentic narratives to reimagine the self and one another while developing mutual respect and tolerance for difference. The incredible impact of this program has been profound and has positively affected participating schools from Homestead to St. Lucie County.
A Gift of $300 could provide a one of a kind shopping experience for one child in conjunction with Cool Gear for the School Year. Each of the 60 deserving children is paired with a local celebrity who helps him or her shop for back-to-school gear. The program’s purpose is to help build each child’s self-esteem and eliminate an unnecessary distraction, allowing each child to focus on his or her studies and not their attire while at school.
A Gift of $500 could fund the VoiceBox for one month. The monthly teen open mic provides a safe space for middle school and high school aged students to share their original narratives and express themselves socially and artistically through spoken word poetry, music and dance, while becoming part of a larger community of students with whom they otherwise would never meet.
A Gift of $1,000 could allow one child to attend the Jason Taylor Reading Room for an entire school year. Middle school and high school students participate in the program for two hours per day throughout the school year, and are navigated through a rotating academic focus calendar with assistance from a full-time Educational Director, certified teachers and teachers’ aids. The program’s curriculum addresses vocabulary development, reading comprehension, language arts, creative writing skills, oral reading fluency and novel study, as well as ninety minutes of weekly math instruction per grade level. The Reading Room also provides individualized computer assisted learning opportunities and homework support.
A Gift of $1,500 can ensure that a public school can participate in the Omari Hardwick bluapple Poetry Network for one academic year. The bluapple Poetry Network is a multifaceted, after-school spoken word poetry program available free to students South Florida public schools. The program provides an environment for students from diverse backgrounds to focus on literacy, prevention issues and social awareness as vehicles for self-expression, both written and through performance, ultimately empowering young people, the schools they attend and the communities in which they live.
A Gift of $2,000 could underwrite a 20-week residency for an LTABFLA Teaching Artist to work within one school, including in-classroom, after-school, and out-of- school opportunities. Teaching artists are responsible for the delivery of the Omari Hardwick bluapple Poetry Network programming, pedagogy, and curriculum while they serve as workshop leaders, partner with classroom teachers, mentor students & peers, as well developing of their own workshop/teaching material.
A Gift of $5,500 could provide a two-year scholarship for a graduating high schooler through the Jason Taylor Scholars program, in partnership with Take Stock in Children. This school-based, comprehensive mentoring and scholarship program is designed to break the cycle of poverty and academic failure for low-income, at-risk children in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Deserving 6 th and 7 th grade students enter the program by signing a contract, along with their parents, in support of the program, to commit to meet with a mentor weekly, stay drug/alcohol free, produce grades which are average or above, remain crime free, attend school, and display a strong responsibility to their neighborhoods and schools. In return, mentors are recruited to motivate the student to achieve academic success and model social, coping and life skills. The child, mentor and the family are supported by student advocates, school personnel, community leaders and local corporations throughout the six or seven years of his/her academic career. Upon graduation from high school, the student is awarded a Florida PrePaid College Program four-year tuition scholarship.