Jacksonville Jaguars’ Dareus Opens School In Haiti

    There are guys in the NFL making positive power moves and impeccably representing the league, but their actions are underpublicized and overshadowed by the sensationalism and focus on shock news that has engulfed journalism. 

    Jacksonville Jaguars defensive lineman Marcell Dareus is one of those superheroes that the NFL should be promoting with vigor. He continues to commit his time and energies to humanitarian efforts in Haiti as the countrys plight has been ignored by the media cycle since Hurricane Matthew last dominated the news and Americans scrambled to assist in Haiti‘s long and painful recovery and reconstruction.  

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    Jaguars Defensive Tackle Marcell Dareus Makes Humanitarian Trip To Haiti https://t.co/xVPVxwr0Dz

    Dareus made the lives of hundreds of Haitian children and a whole community far more promising last week when he returned to Haiti for the second consecutive offseason and broke ground Wednesday on the “Marcell Dareus School Wing” at Christ-Roi Primary School of Cammy in the southern part of the country.

    The Shadow League has documented Dareus transformation on the football field and as a person since Haiti was devastated by Hurricane Matthew in 2016.  While playing for the Buffalo Bills, Dareus took a humanitarian trip to Haiti to aid in Hurricane recovery, donated money towards educational advances for kids of the underserved region and hosted annual Christmas parties, providing gifts for 175 local children at the William-Emslie Family YMCA in Buffalo. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown presented Dareus with an official proclamation making December 23rd “Marcell Dareus Day.”

                                                      Marcell Dareus Is A Christmas Credit To The NFL

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    Now hes taking his actions one step further through his partnership with U.S.-based charity, Hope for Haiti and a generous $125,000 donation through his Dareus Foundation. The two-time Pro Bowler will fund a three-classroom building for over 190 primary school children who currently attend daily classes in the small town’s church. In addition to giving the kids a new school, his monetary efforts will go to funding teachers’ salaries, school supplies and some of the necessary infrastructure to sustain education for years to come.

     “I don’t think I have never experienced a day like Wednesday when I took part in the groundbreaking of the new school which will have my name on it,” said Dareus through his PR team Swanson Communications. “It is one thing to give money to something and hope for the best; it is quite something else to witness your efforts and see the gratitude and thankfulness of not just the children, but the whole community, for doing what you’re doing.”

     “Today is a day that the community will treasure and is a sign of the progress yet to come,” said Raphael Durose, Founder and Chapel Director of the Christ-Roi Cammy Primary School. “For a long time, a school like this has been a dream, but now it is a reality. We are most grateful to Marcell for sharing his generous heart with the students and for his willingness to take part in this special ceremony. I want to thank everyone at Hope for Haiti for planning another trip to remember.”

    With speeches and blessings completed, Dareus, surrounded by the school children wearing his signature captain’s hats and gifts given by the Jacksonville Jaguars, including Jaguars bead necklaces and pencils, cut a red ribbon and laid the first cinder block for the new school wing, symbolizing the future growth of the small community.

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                                                                                            (Credit: Swanson Communications)

    After arriving to Haiti on Monday, Dareus presented his generous check at a welcome reception and press conference among Hope for Haiti board members, government officials and the media.

    This year’s trip included a day spent touring the capital of Port-au-Prince, with stops at the National Museum, the National Palace and the Statues of the Heroes of Independence to learn more about the ancestry of his Haitian roots and culture of his Haitian-born father.

    It was that first trip to his fathers homeland of Haiti that truly touched Dareus and triggered his dedication to making a profound difference in Haiti. Visits and bringing medical supplies and food for the local people is great, but providing a foundation of free education will improve conditions and opportunity for future generations of Haitians who may never see American soil. The experience also brings Dareus closer to his roots and provides him with a deeper understanding of his father’s journey. 

    “It was interesting to hear about the history of Haiti and learn more about the harsh reality of the years of slave trade in the country,” he said. “It all helps me understand more about my father’s background and early life. I will continue to explore ways to know more about him and my family heritage.”

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                                                                                                (Credit: Swanson Communications)

    For Dareus, the good work does not stop here stating, “I promised my mom that I would support Haiti in any way I could and now I am using my platform to keep my promise. It’s a beautiful country with incredible people and children who need help. I want to make sure I do everything I can to lift them up. This is just the beginning of what we’re looking to accomplish here. I plan to come back after next season to see the new school and decide what else I can do to continue to build a legacy of hope for Haiti.”

    JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.