Arians Family Foundation Helps Children in Need

Ken Cross

July 30, 2019 at 2:59 pm.

TAMPA. Fla. – Too many times the great things that coaches and players do at the pro and college levels get swept under the rug as it seems the main stream media is too busy looking for things to report on that are scandalous or that paint these people in a bad light.  Embellishment of non-stories often seems much more important to make people click web links, buy newspapers or flip remote controls on their HD-TVs.

New Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians rolled out a program a few days ago that may be one of the most noteworthy and beautifully thought-out ideas in recent memory.

The Arians Family Foundation, headed by his son Jake, provided backpacks filled with school supplies and a water bottle to 100 children in the Tampa Bay Area as Coach Arians and several Bucs players, including Jameis Winston, Mike Evans and O.J. Howard, spent time with the children taking pictures and signing autographs.

Many of these children come from dire environments where they have been neglected, abused or even abandoned.  The Arians family wanted to show support to these children, as they did in Arizona when Bruce was coaching the Cardinals.  Roughly 6,500 children are in the local foster care system and just are not able to buy school supplies to get ready for the new school year.

“When we bring the kids in and give out the school supplies, you can see the frowns turn into smiles as they came through that line and see the guys,” Bruce Arians said. “I can’t thank our players enough for being a part of it.”

Volunteers from Guardian ad Litem (GAL), a child advocacy program, identity the needs of these children and advocate for them in court.  Through studies, children who are identified by GAL are more likely to do well in school than those who are adopted without these services.

The energy picked up amazingly as these young people saw some of their heroes come to the table when the backpacks, made by JanSport in both red and black, were waiting for them on a row of tables.  The children then filed through the line and met Coach Arians and their favorite players.

“It is not easy to raise money, but easy to raise money and awareness when you can give a backpack and change their lives,” Jake Arians said. “A lot of these kids can wind up in four or five group homes in a year and they can be picked up in the middle of the night and a lot of times they don’t have anything but a trash bag to put their stuff in.”

The Arians Family Foundation made a huge impact on the city of Phoenix and the surrounding areas as they also raise money with concerts that featured notables such as Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani.  Seven of those concerts have taken place in Arizona and a huge concert in the Tampa Bay Area is on the docket for next March.  Arians noted the buy-in of the Glazer Family and how they have pushed the initiative forward.

“The Glazer family has been absolutely amazing as they sponsored a golf tournament in Florida and have done the same thing in Georgia and he (Bruce Arians) hasn’t coached a game yet,” Jake Arians said. “To have that type of commitment from them for off the field stuff is really great.”