The New York Jets are on a roll. And we’re not just talking about a string of cliffhanger victories that have fans whispering “Super Bowl.”
On Monday night, the team threw an early Thanksgiving feast at its Florham Park training facility for 80 people– 50 children and 30 adults–who are clients of Homeless Solutions Inc.
“It’s so sweet for them to do this for us,” said Shana Aviles, whose daughter Hailey McCoy, 8, was among the children who romped in the Jets field house for an hour before sitting down in the cafeteria for turkey and pumpkin pie.
Established in 1983, Homeless Solutions operates a shelter in Morris Township and has built, or is planning to build, 43 units of affordable housing in Morristown and Morris Township. About half of the agency’s clients work full-time…yet cannot earn enough for housing in Morris County, said Betsey Hall, president of Homeless Solutions.
Several Jets players signed autographs and tossed footballs with youngsters, who dashed between inflatable slides and games.
“It’s good to see kids having fun,” said receiver Patrick Turner.
Even Betsey and her development director, Pam Palumbo, wound up playing catch.
“The Jets reached out to us,” Pam said. “When the Jets moved in two years ago, they were very good at reaching out to nonprofit agencies.”
Needless to say, the efforts have added to the team’s fan base.
“I always have been” a Jets fan, said Camilla Cardona, 10. “Yesterday’s game was actually pretty awesome. I didn’t want them to lose.”
“I’m a big fan of the Jets. I don’t like anyone else,” said nine-year-old Justin Foster, who hastened to clarify matters. “I used to be a big fan of the Patriots, not any more. I hope to be on the Jets when I’m older — or play professional soccer.”