Now and then, I have the pleasure of meeting people who have incredibly inspirational stories about how they are striving to better the lives of many. Atlanta native and professional basketball player, DeQuan Jones, is one of them. Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Jones and discuss the work that he is doing to impact lives in the community.
It all started with a particular moment in a local Walmart where Jones met a mother who was school shopping with her two little girls. One of the little girls reached to pick up a 64-pack of Crayola crayons when her mom told her that they could only get the 12-pack. “I remembered seeing the disappointment on the little girls face and it all kind of triggered something in me because I remember those days; growing up in a single-parent home,” said Jones as he described the emotions he felt as a kid not being able to get all of the school supplies that he wanted. He helped the mother by paying for her daughters’ school supplies that day, and that was the moment he realized he wanted to continue to help families in need.
Because of this desire, he and his wife, Allison Jones, founded the Jet Jones Foundation, Inc. in 2015 with the mission to “inspire kids and provide them with the resources they need to take flight towards a better future.” Through this foundation, the Joneses have had the chance to work with many less fortunate kids in the Atlanta area. Since 2015, this foundation has put in countless hours of service through various initiatives and events. Service Saturdays, community cleanups, a 5K, a school supply drive…You name, they’ve done it.
To help students prepare to go back to school, the Jet Jones Foundation sponsors an annual networking mixer called Party with a Purpose, where attendees are asked to bring school supplies for admission. At the last event, they were successful in collecting about 500 pounds of school supplies which were donated to the Atlanta Community Food Bank’s Kids in Need Program. This year’s Party with a Purpose event will be held on Thursday, August 3rd at STATS in Downtown Atlanta.
Through initiatives like Party with a Purpose, Jones is driven to grow the foundation for the future. He hopes to expand past the Atlanta area and reach more people in need. “It’s still a lot of work to be done,” said Jones, “I’m competitive, so if I help five kids today, I want to help 15 tomorrow.”