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Former GVSU football player helps homebound individuals

J.J. McGrath giving back during Covid-19 pandemic
Former GVSU football player, J.J. McGrath packages goods for distribution.
Posted at 4:03 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 17:32:39-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — During the outbreak of COVID-19, there are countless amounts of people stepping up to make a difference. That includes former Grand Valley State University football player, J.J. McGrath, who is packing and distributing food to the homebound.

"When really tough times come, you see the best and worst out of people," McGrath said.

McGrath went 13-for-16 in his career as the Lakers field goal kicker and also handled kickoffs for two seasons in Allendale. Now, he's making a difference off of the field during this ongoing pandemic.

"We were just trying to assess the situation," McGrath added. "You look at it like football, you go on the field and you have seconds to make a decision, that's essentially what we did."

McGrath gives back to the community

McGrath is one of 12 people on a team, all under the age of 30 who are packing over 100 bags and handing them out throughout the West Michigan community.

"It's the necessities so we've got a bar of soap, we've got a couple cans of beans, chili, loaf of bread, crackers, peanut butter, soup, jelly, canned veggies, canned fruit," explained McGrath, "we're making sure we have the food groups covered and the nutrients."

Once the bags are packed, the team loads them into vehicles and distributes them to homes in their database all around our area. Most on the list are those at high risk for contracting the coronavirus.

"Immune compromised people, the elderly, folks with children that shouldn't be leaving the house," said McGrath, "we're getting them packages that get them the bare essentials."

And for McGrath and the team, it's not so much about the thanks they receive for their acts, but seeing the way neighbors help one another in a time of need."

"I think the most rewarding part is just viewing other people acting and watching the community kind of serve itself as West Michigan is known to do."

The team says they will distribute all of the goods by the end of the weekend and reassess the situation to see how much more of a need there is for more bags.