Monday, February 21, 2011

Where Are They Now?

Every off season when the news begins to slow down, I always like to kick off my "Where Are They Now?" feature and who better to start it off with this off season but our beloved Kurt Warner. Yes, he may have retired a Cardinal but there is no doubt in most Rams fans hearts that he will always have a special place in each and every one of our hearts.

First Things First Foundation

Kurt and Brenda highs and lows that have captivated fans the moment that Kurt burst onto the NFL scene when he first played for the St. Louis Rams in 1999. Their varied personal trials and triumphs acts as the inspiration for the outreach of First Things First. The foundation strives to share God's love with others through projects such as trips to Disney World for ill children, building recreation centers in children's hospitals, rewarding single parents for achieving the dream of home ownership and encouraging the inclusion of special needs individuals. All projects are centered on the Warners' life theme of putting faith and family first.

One of the outreach programs is called CHEER or Consciousness Helps Encourage Equal Respect is a high school program that encourages high school students to include their disabled peers and to learn what it is like to experience a disability. The week long program has students spending a day in a wheelchair, on crutches, wearing goggles that impair their vision they participate in a variety of different awareness events all week and when the program is done, those that took on a disability are then asked to get up in front of the school and describe to the other students what it was like to live just one day with a disability.

Basket of Hope is something Kurt and Brenda do on a regular basis by visiting critically ill children in the hospital with their parents. Their basket of hope outreach offers support, prayer and hope that all things are possible with Jesus. Their baskets contain bibles, prayer books, music as well as games, toys and stuffed animals for the children. 

Holiday Outreach is very personal to Kurt and his family and every Thanksgiving the entire family goes and helps to feed those who would not have a Thanksgiving meal if it were not for shelters that are supported by foundations like First Things First. On Christmas Kurt manages to go to at least one hospital on Christmas day to deliver gifts and be there during their time of opening each gift. They have also partnered with convalescent homes, teen pregnancy shelters and children's home in Phoenix, St. Louis and Iowa to ensure that these people receive a gift of love during Christmas.

These are just a few samples of what Kurt is doing with his life and how he continues to impact those of whom he comes in contact with.

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:33

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Faulk Gives All the Credit to Mom

It wasn't easy for Faulk to get where he got to in life. But from everything we saw of him, we never would have believed that. From the talent we were blessed to experience we would have thought that it was a natural from day one that his incredible player would end up in Canton one day.

Well, we were right about something. But it was anything but easy for the boy from the bad side of town down in New Orleans. When remembering how he got to this point in his illustrious career Faulk remembers how hard it was for a kid from the tough streets of the Ninth Ward.

Faulk admits that it was the love and continual support of his mother a long with his unwillingness to fall victim to the things that surrounded him in his life that led him to the end of the road at Canton.

As fans we all knew of his greatness on the field and that he was more than just a star and team leader but a man who was humble enough to not let his talents get the better of him. He showed his humility upon being announced as one of the newest members of the HOF.....

"Disbelief," he said. "You think about growing up as a kid, and the dream is to just watch a football game. Then you get a chance to play a football game. And now the best thing that could happen to you while playing in this game when you're done ... there's guys in this Hall of Fame I look so far up to. I never thought I'd be in that room with them."

Faulk cried Saturday when asked about what this honor meant to him, considering all of the obstacles he had to overcome in his young life. He cried when he attempted to speak of his mother, Cecile. Without his mother, Faulk doesn't get out of New Orleans, doesn't get to the NFL, doesn't become a Super Bowl champion. And she helped guide him to Canton, too.

You deserve the honor you were one of the greatest and we as fans will always remember the many thrills you gave us for many years.