Posted: 2:56 pm Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

John I. Leonard football combating poverty in Haiti 

By Jason Lieser

In addition to hitting the practice field this month, John I. Leonard coach Wayne Monroe decided this was the perfect time of year to get his players involved in community service.

Monroe and his staff have initiated a food and clothing drive, to be led by the players. Monroe has been considering ways to get his team involved in charity work all summer, and said the many Haitian-American students and football players made this cause a natural fit.

“We want to teach our kids to be givers,” Monroe said. “They’re very excited about it. When you give kids the chance to do something nice for others, it’s just amazing the energy they get from giving back.”

Players have been asked to bring in at least two canned food items, as well as any unwanted clothing, throughout the month of August.

Monroe hopes his team will set an example for other football programs in the area.

“It would be nice to see other schools get more involved,” he said. “But it’s tough at this level. It really has to come from the hearts of the players.”

John I. Leonard’s football team is partnering with the West Boynton and Lake Lytal football leagues, and is asking the local community to join in as well. Anyone who wishes to contribute canned goods or clothes to this effort is asked to call Monroe’s office at (561) 491-8319.