The Jacksonville Jaguars have nominated defensive lineman Malik Jackson for the NFL’s Salute to Service Award. The Salute to Service Award, presented by USAA, acknowledges the exceptional efforts by members of the NFL community to honor and support U.S. service members, veterans and their families.
Jackson has a long history of supporting the military, especially in the Jacksonville community. Jackson’s own foundation, Malik’s Gifts, supports military, at-risk youth and their families and pet adoption. Through Malik’s Gifts, Jackson has sponsored multiple events designed to support the military.
In 2017, Jackson committed $5,000 to Jacksonville’s Five Star Veterans Center that provides safe and secure housing for displaced veterans facing homelessness and unemployment. His donation will specifically be used to enhance the center’s career division, adding new paint, office computers, webcams for Skype interviews, desks and chairs to aid in veterans’ ability to build their resumes and apply for jobs.
In addition, Jackson hosted Gold Star Wives Day that honored 50 women who are widows of service members who have died while serving their country. Jackson’s $2,000 donation provided child care and dinner at a local restaurant for 50 Gold Star wives, and treated them to a special night out on the town.
This past Memorial Day, Jackson provided military families, who lost a loved one in service of their country, an afternoon of horseback riding, wagon tours, fishing and other activities at the Diamond Ranch in Jacksonville. Jackson’s goal was to enrich family time and peer support for grieving survivor families. Jackson’s $10,000 donation enabled more than 200 military children and families to partake in the event.
During the week prior to the team’s Salute to Service game on November 12th this year, Malik will once again attend the Stars and Strikes Bowling Event at Naval Station Mayport to bowl alongside more than 200 active duty members, their families and Jaguars teammates. In partnership with the Jaguars Foundation and Florida Survivor Outreach Services for Freedom, Jackson will also host a private movie screening for more than 150 military children and their families at the Second Annual Movie Night with Malik to show support for military children and families facing injury, loss and deployment.
Jackson received the 2017 Jaguars Community Leadership Award at the Jaguars Back to Football Luncheon on August 30 for his continued outreach to the Jacksonville community.