Cris Carter is on the phone, asking for help – for others.
“This pandemic is a wicked event,” the Hall of Fame receiver told USA TODAY Sports this week, warming to his theme. “We just can’t go through it and act as if we don’t care. Everyone can have some type of impact.”
Carter, 54, is one of several “Gold Jackets” supporting Project Isaiah, a charitable organization established during the coronavirus pandemic to provide free, boxed meals to people in need and keep food-service workers employed. The brainchild of investment banker Michael Klein, the project since its launch in April has provided more than 1.7 million meals in 11 cities with underserved communities that have been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 crisis.
Klein hired The Gate Gourmet, one of the largest airline food providers, to prepare and package meals at their airport kitchens. The meals are then distributed by more than 200 community service organizations. Klein also sought support from David Baker, executive director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, who took the matter to the Hall’s board of directors, which immediately gave the green light to become a partner.
“We are more than a museum,” Baker told USA TODAY Sports. “We talk a lot about the concept of team, of helping each other out. Project Isaiah is consistent with our values.”
Carter has done a PSA for the project on Facebook, asked other Hall of Famers for help, called on business contacts to donate and conducted interviews to raise awareness.