Neighbor To Family, headquartered in Daytona Beach, FL, with offices in Jacksonville, specializes in keeping sibling groups together. The award was presented at a special luncheon on Oct. 13 at Daytona International Speedway.
Jacksonville Jaguars President Mark Lamping, Neighbor To Family President/CEO Gordon Johnson and Ed Block Courage Award Foundation Director of Community Relations Brett Dickinson were joined by Jaguars Defensive Tackle Roy Miller, a 2009 Courage Award recipient, alumnus Richard Collier, a 2009 Courage Award recipient, members of The ROAR cheerleaders and JAXSON De Ville to mark this special occasion. A $10,000 charitable gift from the Ed Block Courage Foundation was presented to Neighbor To Family during the ceremony.
"Neighbor to Family's unique and inspiring work to keep siblings together is a very important issue that we graciously support and their track record of family reunification is a model for the nation," stated Mark Lamping, President of the Jaguars.
Neighbor To Family was founded with the notion to revolutionize foster care by keeping siblings together while building healthier families and stronger communities. More than 70% of children placed in foster care have siblings and are often further traumatized when separated from their brothers and sisters after being removed from their homes. Neighbor To Family, co-founded by Gordon Johnson and his wife Deloris, work with trained foster parents who specialize in caring for three or more children. They and the professional staff work diligently with the biological parents for family reunification whenever possible.
"This partnership marks the joining of three organizations determined to improve the lives of abused and neglected children and their families at a level greater than any could attain alone," Johnson said.
A Courage House is a facility or program that provides support and quality care for abused children and their families in a community where an NFL franchise is affiliated with the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation. On a nation-wide basis, the Foundation has formed a Courage House National Support Network for Kids through the dedication of Courage Houses in 25 NFL cities. Also every year, one football player from each partnering NFL franchise is recognized by his peers as a Courage Award recipient in recognition of their professionalism, great strength, dedication and exemplary characteristics as a community role model. They are honored at a special gala held by the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation in Baltimore, MD.
Ed Block is remembered as one of the most educated athletic trainers of his day. He was recognized for significant contributions in the tireless manner in which he gave of himself to help improve the lives of children. He stood for courage and championed the cause of those who displayed that characteristic. His work and philosophy continues today through the Foundation that bears his name. Athletic trainers from teams across the nation help in fundraising efforts to support the Ed Block Courage Foundation.