Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Tony Pashos will distribute 50 backpacks full of school supplies on Saturday to children from the 4th Judicial Court Guardian Ad Litem Program. The group will receive their gifts following the morning practice.
Each backpack contains a $50 gift card to a local clothing store, pencils, pens, binder and notebooks among other items.
Pashos founded the Pashos' Pals program in November of 2007 with children from Guardian Ad Litem in Jacksonville, an organization that speaks for the best interests of abused, abandoned and neglected children in the court. The organization promotes and supports quality volunteer representation for children to provide each child a safe, permanent, nurturing home.
The Pashos' Pals program was designed to help motivate the children to excel in academics and in life by helping build long-lasting relationships. Pashos, who takes responsibility for the entire cost of the program, selected 20 children to attend monthly workshops, sporting events and field trips to various places around Jacksonville. The goal is to expose the group to a variety of educational, cultural and community service activities.
"This is just another aspect of what we are doing with the Pashos Pals program," Pashos said. "I have really enjoyed getting to meet these children over the past two years and showing them opportunities that exist for them when they get older. It's been very rewarding for me personally to see them grow as people. It's about spending time with each child one-on-one, showing them you care and we have been able to accomplish that with this program."
Past events have included visits to the Jacksonville Zoo, Florida Coastal Law School, The Cummer Museum, University of North Florida, Adventure Landing, a holiday shopping spree the last two years at Dick's Sporting Goods, dinner at Maggiano's and bowling.