Long before the New York Jets imploded last week on Monday Night Football, kids from the Children’s Village traveled to MetLife Stadium for the first time in late September to watch the team play.
With Mark Sanchez still entrenched at quarterback, the Jets were crushed by the San Francisco 49ers in a 34-0 rout. Many fans left the stadium in the third quarter and quickly walked to the parking lot.
Children from the Dobbs Ferry based agency, which provides a temporary safe haven for kids from troubled homes, and about a dozen of their mentors — known as the leadership council — walked down to the field and stepped onto the turf.
After a day spent tailgating and cheering in the stands, they snapped pictures with Jets wide receiver Jeremy Kerley, and some even got his autograph.
“These kids got the chance to experience something they had never done before,” said Topher Nichols, spokesman for the Children’s Village. “Three months later, they’re still talking about how the Jets game was so cool. It clearly had an impact on them.”
Next year, the leadership council is already planning to take a group of children to a Brooklyn Nets home game. There is also a trip scheduled that will provide kids with an opportunity to visit the Intrepid museum on the Hudson River.
Founded in 2010, the group coordinates fundraising events and sponsors activities for many of the residential children who have been temporarily removed from their families because of domestic violence or economic problems.
While a majority of council members are employed in the finance sector, there are other young professionals from different backgrounds who help contribute to philanthropic efforts by developing corporate relationships and recruiting new volunteers.
“It’s really about working with children who, in many cases, have been dealt a bad hand,” said Noah Simon, chairman of the leadership council. “These types of experiences let the kids know there are a lot of people who care about them.”