Vincent Rey's Giving Spirit Continues
Cincinnati Bengals players will be on Fountain Square on #GivingTuesday, Dec. 2, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., to accept gifts for Lighthouse Youth Services Happy Holidays gift drive, which provides gifts for more than 2,000 local children, teens and young adults in need. Stop by, drop off a donation and enjoy a game of corn hole or an #unselfie with Bengals players Vincent Rey, Clark Harris, Emmanuel Lamur, Marquis Flowers and Jayson DiManche.
The young people who are in Lighthouse's care have often been abused and neglected with no real place to call home. Bengals linebacker Vincent Rey has brought his passion for giving back to the community and spending time with the youth served by Lighthouse for nearly three years and will be part of "Share on the Square" for the third year in a row.
Lighthouse first connected with Rey in December 2011 and invited him to the Lighthouse Youth Center at Paint Creek. He is passionate about helping young people overcome obstacles in life and uses his position as an NFL player to benefit the community and inspire others and give back.
Rey spent a chilly, drizzly day at Paint Creek a few years ago. He talked with the incarcerated teens, answered questions about difficult subjects, and shared his views about the importance of education and his dream of working in schools after he's done playing in the NFL. He was so moved by his experience and the young people he met, that he has continued to spend time with the young men from Paint Creek and personally donated to the organization.
Over the last several years, he has visited the Lighthouse Community School a number of times to talk with the students and helped with their urban gardening project. He continually joins the annual Happy Holidays "Share on the Square" event to help raise awareness for the needs of Lighthouse youth.
"We are so appreciative of a young man like Vincent Rey who takes the time to connect with our youth and provide a positive role model," said Bob Mecum, president and CEO of Lighthouse Youth Services. "Our youth have had to overcome so many obstacles in life and when they meet him, they know he sincerely cares and wants to be of service," he said.
Each year, Lighthouse relies on the generosity of the community to provide gifts for more than 550 teenagers living in foster care, group homes and older youth living independently in supervised apartments, as well as nearly 200 homeless youth. Greater Cincinnati residents are asked to purchase gifts, gift cards and basic necessities from the Lighthouse "Top 10 Wish List" to help local youth in need. Items on the wish list include basic necessities, such as gloves, scarves, sweatshirts, personal care and household items.
This year's "Share on the Square" event takes place on #GivingTuesday, the latest national initiative to kick-off the holiday shopping season. Nationally, a group of charities and corporate sponsors is urging Americans to make the Tuesday after Thanksgiving just as powerful a day of giving to those in need. The goal of #GivingTuesday is to drive donations to charities with the same enthusiasm that consumers have on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.