Six days before battling the New York Giants to compete for first place in the division, six Dallas Cowboys veterans served lunch to Salvation Army clients at the Dallas Salvation Army Carr P. Collins Social Service Center as part of the organization’s annual outreach event.
“It was awesome,” said tight end Jason Witten, who brought his wife and sons to help serve clients. “We had a huge platform to give back, and it felt great to do that.”
Cowboys teammates that joined Witten included cornerback Orlando Scandrick, defensive end Caesar Rayford, defensive end Georgie Selvie, defensive end DeMarcus Ware, and quarterback Tony Romo.
Tight end Jason Witten (near) and defensive end (far) DeMarcus Ware serve meals as part of the Salvation Army’s annual outreach lunch at the Carr. P Collins Social Service Center in Dallas — Jordan Ross
The veterans were split into two groups of three, with Selvie, Rayford, and Scandrick serving the upstairs dining hall, and Romo, Witten, and Ware serving the downstairs dining hall. The players, and their families, carried blue trays from the kitchen to the dining halls, serving lunch and dessert.
Defensive end George Selvie was grateful to use his talents and time for such a charitable cause.
“This is really great,” Selvie said. “All I’m really giving is time right now. So, that’s what most people want is to come out here and show we care.”
Fellow defensive lineman Caesar Rayford felt a little differently. Not even a week ago, the Dallas Cowboys waived the Washington product, leaving him on the streets. However, the team recently welcomed him back to the practice squad.
“I’m thankful just to be a part of this organization and to be back,” said Rayford.
For Rayford, it didn’t matter what the circumstances were for him personally. He enjoyed giving back to the community, wherever that community may be.
Accompanying the six Dallas Cowboys veterans were Captain Michele Matthews of the Salvation Army, associates from UnitedHealthcare and Albertson’s, representatives from JFKDAY, and Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Charlotte Jones Anderson and her mother, Gene Jones.
Charlotte Jones Anderson is also Chairman of the Salvation Army’s National Advisory Board, the first woman to ever hold the position. She has been instrumental in helping the Salvation Army raise billions of dollars during her tenure. But helping the underserved and downtrodden personally was especially significant.
“It’s always great to put a face on the issue,” Anderson explained. “And I think when you see all these faces here that are one: so grateful to be here and they’re also so grateful to the [Salvation] Army and what the Army provides to them. And then they certainly make you feel good about them being grateful for us to be here. So, you know, it’s really great to be able to bring a smile to someone’s face, to really see the issues that they’re going through and all the great work that the Salvation Army does firsthand.”
On Thanksgiving Day, the Salvation Army nationally kicks off their Red Kettle Campaign on CBS as the Dallas Cowboys host the Oakland Raiders in AT&T Stadium. You can find Cowboys tickets available here.
Anderson is “very excited” about the opportunity.
“It’s so hard to believe Thanksgiving is a few days away with Selena Gomez joining us on Thanksgiving to launch the national Red Kettle Campaign. It’s going to be a great show. A great ball game, and right in the middle of it, we have an opportunity to appreciate those who really do all the great work in the Salvation Army.”
Getting involved is easy, according to Anderson. People can simply text “donate” to 80888, or serve meals at Salvation Army service centers like the Dallas Cowboys did. The traditional ways of bell-ringing and adopting angels off the Army Tree are available.
For more information on the Salvation Army and other ways to get involved, visit www.salvationarmyusa.org/