When Washington Redskins wide receiver
The first was to score touchdown and help the Redskins win games. The second was to be active in the Washington, D.C., community.
Jackson on Monday was giving away backpacks at the Boys & Girls Club in Manassas, Va., as part of the DeSean Jackson Foundation's efforts to help those in need.
“Honestly, I wanted to get in close to touching the inner city and the youth, the underprivileged kids,” Jackson said. “I grew up similarly raised and I didn’t always have what I wanted. The Boys and Girls Club fits this need in this time right now.”
With school starting and the cost of supplies adding up, Jackson came to the decision that backpacks full of necessitates would be important to kids in need.
“It’s the end of August, time for school (to start) and parents are working as hard as they can,” Jackson told CSN Washington’s Tarik El-Bashir. “To be able to give that extra giddy up, to put some things in the backpack for them, just put a smile on them and to have them going into the beginning of the semester happy about going to school is awesome.”
It’s wasn’t too long ago that Jackson was in the shoes of the kids he visited on Monday.
“I used to go to the Boys & Girls Club when I lived in California,” Jackson said. “It was just one of them things where you were all around all your friends and just having fun playing basketball, playing football and just being a kid, getting away from home and not staying at home playing video games all the time.
“I think it’s just a great opportunity to be young and to be able to participate in activities with other kids because it kind of teaches you life skills and how to grow up and mature as an adult.”
Jackson told the kids later to avoid situations that will hinder growth.
“Honestly, just give it your best, give it your full potential,” he said. “Don’t really accept nothing less than putting up a great effort. At the same time, listening to your elders, listening to your parents, listening to your teachers, don’t be disobedient.
“Stay away from all the negative things that, if you have friends or little children, stay from that and do positive things.”
Another core value of the DeSean Jackson Foundation is to help those who are battling pancreatic cancer.
In 2009, Jackson lost his father to pancreatic cancer.
“It’s very disturbing disease, so really being a new face here and new to my team, we’re just trying to hit the inner city and just really provide a cure for that disease,” he said. “Coming to the Boys & Girls Club doesn’t have anything to do with that disease, but it’s just really finding awareness and find a cure for it. I’d like to hit every area and not just be about one thing.
“I’m shedding light on a lot of different things in the community – bullying – and all types of things like that. The kids are something I love.”