Anna F. Booth Elementary School
Bayou La Batre, Alabama
“Bags of Hope” is an initiative of the Jeremiah Castille Foundation – a non-profit organization focused on “investing in, influencing, impacting and inspiring” young people. The founder of the organization – Jeremiah Castille — was raised in a dysfunctional home troubled by abuse, domestic violence and alcoholism. Through his participation in sports, including playing football at the University of Alabama under legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, and his strong religious faith, Castille learned that with a positive attitude, strong work ethic and integrity, he could do great things. He leveraged his athletic ability into a six-year stint in the NFL and later started the foundation bearing his name to provide a positive role model to underprivileged children and to encourage them to excel as he has.
“The Jeremiah Castille Foundation’s main focus is providing hope for the hopeless,” noted Raley, who was approached to participate in the “Bags of Hope” project by an acquaintance on the foundation’s Board of Directors. “Most of the kids the foundation assists come from broken or foster homes and most have a background of being abused or abandoned. Many come from government housing projects. This particular initiative involved providing school supplies to Anna Booth Elementary School students. The foundation loaded backpacks with spiral notebooks, notebook paper, pens, pencils, rulers and other items and distributed them to the students – many of whose parents are employed in the fishing industry and are out of work.”
Not only did the Foley facility provide financial support for the community outreach effort, Raley personally handed out backpacks on Aug. 26 at the elementary school. It was an experience he will never forget.
“Jeremiah Castille delivered a very positive message about having a dream and staying in school to the students at the backpack distribution ceremony,” he said. “He talked about his own personal history of coming from an abusive home with an alcoholic parent and how he was the only child of nine siblings to graduate from high school. It was fantastic.”
Barbara Blomeyer, executive director of the Jeremiah Castille Foundation, used the same adjective to describe Goodrich Aerostructures’ support of the “Bags of Hope” event. “The support of Goodrich, both financially and by Jeff personally, enabled the children to begin the school year well prepared to continue their successes and growth. Goodrich, a vital community partner, demonstrated a commitment to our most vital asset and future: our children. Education is the key to a productive future.
And developing a dream and the ‘heart of a champion’ in the children provides them hope for a great future. Thank you, Goodrich, for your partnership and support.” “The support of Goodrich, both financially and by Jeff personally, enabled the children to begin the school year well prepared to continue their successes and growth,” she said. “Goodrich, a vital community partner, demonstrated a commitment to our most vital asset and future: our children.
Education is the key to a productive future. And developing a dream and the ‘heart of a champion’ in the children provides them hope for a great future. Thank you, Goodrich, for your partnership and support.”
Note: If you would like to support “Bags of Hope,” you can mail a tax-deductible contribution to: The Jeremiah Castille Foundation, P.O. Box 7697, Spanish Fort, Alabama, 36527. Each $10 donation covers the cost of filling a backpack for one student and donations should be made payable to The Jeremiah Castille Foundation and designated for the “Bags of Hope” initiative. Additional information may be obtained by contacting Barbara Blomeyer, executive director, Jeremiah Castille Foundation at (251) 621-3375 or by e-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.