KIRKWOOD, Mo. — Dozens of cars drove up empty to Nipher Middle School in Kirkwood Monday afternoon, and dozens of cars left filled with goods they needed.
Former Mizzou and NFL star, Jeremy Maclin, usually holds a football camp at Kirkwood High School around this time of year. Unable to do so because of COVID-19, he thought of the next best thing.
“We figured this is the best way just to show J-Mac gives back is still around, that we still care,” Maclin said. “Anytime we have an opportunity to do something like this, you know we’re all aboard.”
Maclin, who could be doing anything else in his free time, said he couldn’t miss this opportunity to help those in need.
“Man, like I said I moved back home for a reason and this is one of the reasons I moved back home,” he said.
A couple of weeks ago, Maclin who now resides within the Parkway School District boundaries, said he decided to donate $15,000 to that district's COVID-19 relief fund. But, never forgetting where he came from, he also decided to help the Kirkwood School District.
“Kirkwood’s always home, though so anytime I get a chance to come back to my home roots I come do it,” Maclin said.
Maclin and his crew passed out $15,000 worth of non-perishable and perishable food and hygiene items to Kirkwood families.
“Because it’s always been bigger than me; it’s been about where I come from and what I stand for,” he said. “I know there’s a lot of people right now that could use this through these challenging times and any way that I can give back, my team can give back, we’re always all for it.
Maclin said the best part of doing something like this is seeing the reactions on the families' faces.
“You know, if I want milk and eggs I just go downstairs to my refrigerator,” he said. “So to know that some people don’t have the pleasure kind of breaks my heart a little bit, so I think that was kind of the defining moment that I realized what I’m doing right now is a pretty big deal.”
He said he’s also thankful for the volunteers and supporters who made this day a reality.
“You know I think that speaks volumes of the Kirkwood community, kind of how close-knit we are and kind of how we rally together and I couldn’t have done all of this without any of them.”
Maclin said while these are uncertain times, he will continue to do his part and give back wherever it's needed because he said no one should go through this alone.