ZEBRA TEAMED UP WITH VINCENT COUNTRY FOR THE SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR TO HOST A SAFE ZONE ACTIVITY DAY IN LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA.
by Bill Burns
April 01, 2022
Troy Vincent is an NFL executive and NFL Legend, and he is also a big-hearted hero to thousands of children in Super Bowl host cities.
For the past five years, Troy and his wife Tommi Vincent have hosted a “Safe Zone Activity Day” for students at local elementary schools in underserved areas of Super Bowl host cities as part of their Vincent Country philanthropic initiative. The faith-driven family organization founded by the couple was created to make a positive social impact – and I can tell you from personal experience that they are succeeding in their mission.
I joined other members of Zebra Nation to volunteer at this year’s Safe Zone Activity Day at Muir Academy in Long Beach, CA, during Super Bowl LVI week, and the joy that was exuded from those young children, their teachers and other faculty was contagious. Even now, thinking about how excited they were to participate in a day of fun activities brought to life through many volunteers brings a smile to my face.
Having one NFL hero show up to spend the day with the students probably would have been life changing. But there were nearly a dozen professional athletes, including NFL Legends Eddie Mason, Takeo Spikes, Donnie Edwards, Bobby Taylor, Aeneas Williams, Usama Young, and TJ Houshmandzadeh. There were even more volunteers there to help with the festivities, myself included. We all had the same goal: show these children that anything is possible in life – lift them up so they can be their best selves, no matter their current circumstances.
Together, we did that through sports activities, donations of school supplies, preventative health screenings, and inspiring conversation.
For many students, this would prove to be the most memorable day of the year. Some will carry the experience with them for years. But we know the lack of opportunity exists beyond the haven that Vincent Country creates with events such as this. So, Zebra sponsored the commissioning of a beautiful mural at the school – something the children can look at each day to restore their strength and remember that good things come to those who remain steadfast in their efforts to achieve great things.
We tapped into the creativity of Moses Ball, a local muralist with national recognition, who designs murals to portray the positive aspects of communities of color. As you can see, his work is incredible. Then again, so was the spirit of both children and faculty we met – and the NFL players who went above and beyond to make a positive social impact on the Long Beach community. The art is a perfect reflection of the joy that will forever reflect the experience I had that day.
The Vincent family’s commitment to “intentional service” through its Love Thy Neighbor CDC philanthropic organization is making a difference in the lives of thousands of people each year. I am grateful they gave Zebra the opportunity to #GiveBack to those in the Long Beach community during Super Bowl LVI week, and I’m looking forward to joining the team again next year in Arizona.