October 3, 2011
Nation's Building News

The Official Online Newspaper of NAHB

Association News
Chicago Builders Team Up With NFL Players to Help School for Troubled Youths
Reggie Smith, president of the Chicago NFL Former Players’ Chapter, clowns around during a break from the Touchdown for Homes charity project at the AMIInfinity Kids School in August.

Former NFL football players worked side-by-side with local Chicago home builders and contractors to give the AMIKids Infinity Chicago school a much needed facelift on Aug. 25.

The Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago (HBAGC), the Northern Illinois Home Builders Association (NIHBA) and Home Aid Chicago coordinated the community service project, which included painting and updating the school to create a better learning environment.   

“This facelift will create a refreshed environment for hundreds of students who come through the doors of AMIKids and receive continuous, unconditional support from their teachers and educational staff,” said John Wozniak, president of the HBAGC.

AMIKids Infinity Chicago delivers services to youths ages 12 to 21 whose academic capabilities are affected by physical, emotional and behavioral challenges.

Although they have the option of returning to public school, many of the students complete their education with AMIKids.

“Every student can learn and be successful. The education of our youths is a crucial component to their success,” said Reggie Smith, president of the Chicago NFL Players Association (NFLPA) Former Players Chapter.

“It is incredibly rewarding to be able to give back to the Chicago community through a project like this,” he said.

Former NFL players who volunteered to work on the project included:

  • Shafer Suggs: 1976-1981 New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals
  • Bruce Herron: 1978-1982 Chicago Bears
  • Reggie Smith: 1984-1988 Denver Broncos and Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Joseph Kelley, Ken Miffing and David Deitz, regional and store managers for local Lowe’s stores, coordinated donations of paint and supplies for the project and recruited staff volunteers from Lowe’s locations throughout Chicagoland to provide labor.

Justin Daniel, regional representative for Electrolux, donated a new Frigidaire commercial stove for the kitchen.

“We are looking forward to having the renovation done so that the students have a brighter, refreshed environment to learn in,” said Willie Tubbs, principal of AMIKids.

“We are so blessed that these former NFL players and home builders are committed to helping improve the lives of our students," he said.

“In the face of one of the worst business climates ever for the home building industry, it is inspiring that the members of the home builders associations are still finding ways to give back to the community with projects such as this,” said Hal Stembridge, president of the NIHBA.

The project is one of the first to be completed by Touchdown for Homes, a nationwide charitable outreach program created by NAHB and the NFLPA to bring together local home builders associations and former NFL players to strengthen communities by building and renovating homes for children and families in need and veterans.

Watch a video about a Touchdown for Homes project in Washington, D.C., at www.nahb.org/stannsvideo.

NAHB is looking for local home builders associations that would like to partner with local former NFL players’ chapters on charity projects, and for housing industry suppliers who would like to support Touchdown for Homes.

Learn more at: www.nahb.org/touchdownforhomes.

For more information, email Gwyn Donohue at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8447.

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