Football player Marcell Dareus is using his platform to pay it forward. The Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle recently donated $125,000 for the construction of classrooms in Haiti, the Florida Times-Union reported.
There was a ribbon-cutting ceremony held for the building that will house all three of the classrooms, the news outlet writes. The building—which is a part of the Christ-Roi Primary School of Cammy in Cammy, Haiti—will be named after Dareus. At the unveiling ceremony schoolchildren, teachers, and political leaders were in attendance.
“It is one thing to give money to something and hope for the best; it is quite something else to witness your efforts and see the gratitude and thankfulness of not just the children, but the whole community, for doing what you’re doing,” he told the Florida Times-Union. ″To receive their blessings and hear their words of appreciation directly was something I could have never imagined several years ago. Their gratitude and happiness was overwhelming and showed me that what I am doing is going to have a tremendous impact on their lives.”
Leaders at the school are humbled by Dareus’ help. “For a long time, a school like this has been a dream, but now it is a reality,” Rahael Durose, Founder and Chapel Director of the Christ-Roi Cammy Primary School, told Forbes. “We are most grateful to Marcell for sharing his generous heart with the students.”
This project is just one of Dareus’ many philanthropic efforts in Haiti. Last year he donated $25,000 to the organization Hope for Haiti which works to improve the quality of life for the country’s people. Dareus has close ties to Haiti. His late father Jules Dareus was born there. ″It’s a beautiful country with incredible people and children who need help. I want to make sure I do everything I can to lift them up. This is just the beginning of what we’re looking to accomplish here,” he said.