David Nelson Giving Hope to Orphans in Port-au-Prince

David Nelson, a New York Jets receiver, has it all: looks, fame, youth, talent, and money. But he never realized he had something else that overrides it: a big heart. In 2012 Nelson decided to visit Haiti as a volunteer to help with the recovery. And what he saw changed his life forever.


He found a small boy trapped atop some rebar and rescued him. He offered him candy, toys, and other kinds of gifts but the boy refused them all. When Nelson asked him what did he want, the lad held up his arms and answered "Hope". Nelson, in that moment, was transformed. He understood his mission in Haiti was deeper, more profound than handing out footballs at the inauguration of a school lunch program, or spending a few minutes shooting hoops with young fans. What the boy voiced and Haiti's poor communities are asking for every day is for their lives to be given hope, to not be filled with hunger, lack of electricity, schooling, healthcare, clothing, jobs.

Later Nelson got a call three young children needed rescuing from an orphanage. They turned out to be nine, living in stink, sleeping on cement, infested with cockroaches. He and his brother took them away and risked violent threats to keep the children safe. Now he is planning to adopt them. As Nelson says, "Every part of me wants to be there with them and hold them and tell them how special they are to me."

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