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Wilson lends a ‘Helping Hand’

Former Northside High School and East Carolina University standout, and current Green Bay Packer, C.J. Wilson (center) signs autographs after speaking at Monroe College in Bronx, N.Y. Wilson has started the non-profit charity organization called the C.J. Wilson Helping Hands Foundation with the goal of giving back to Eastern North Carolina and communities across the country. (Contributed Photo)

His heart, desire and determination have led him to achieve goals that the average man can only dream about. Now, C.J. Wilson has turned that intense focus and passion that has led him to two Conference USA titles and a Super Bowl championship toward helping others have things the average man might take for granted by creating the C.J. Wilson Helping Hands Foundation.
The non-profit organization has been in the works since Wilson, a former Northside High School and East Carolina University standout was drafted by the Green Bay Packers this time two years ago, and is now up and running like the QBs he hunts down every Sunday.
“Since I have been in the NFL I have talked to a lot of guys on my team about giving back to the community and found out that a lot of the players have foundations and charities,” Wilson said. “So I said I would love to have my own. I come from Belhaven, North Carolina and I can say there’s not many NFL players that come out of that place so I said what better way to help out than to start my own foundation and try to inspire some of these young kids.”
The C.J. Wilson Helping Hands Foundation will be run by Wilson’s older brother Daniel, and while it’s open to helping out people and communities on a national level, it’s focus will greatly encompass Eastern North Carolina.
As of now, the organization is operating on a broad scope and is willing to support many causes, but as time goes on it could more specifically narrow its aim.
“Our short term goal is to donate and give back to the community by helping, for example, the Boys & Girls Club or donate to the Red Cross or different religious churches in the community and different youth athletic programs,” Daniel said. “Since C.J.’s a native of Eastern Carolina the focus will be more on North Carolina. However, C.J.’s an NFL football player and he goes everywhere. One of the places he spoke at recently was a school in the Bronx, New York. … We want to start off broad for the first few years and then maybe get into more specific aspects of our community. … We are still just in our first phase of getting the ball rolling.”
One of those aspects would be trying to help the youth of the community and lead them toward a more spiritually beneficial lifestyle, something that was instilled in him from growing up under the guidance of his father Amos, a pastor at the Mount Olive Pentecostal Church.
“I was raised in a Christian home, my dad’s a pastor. It was a small community and we had a lot of support. When I was growing up we had the whole community help raise a child. The neighbors would scold you if you were bad,” Wilson said. “I just want to give back and mainly I want to speak to the youth. I’m thinking about concentrating on just helping the youth in the near future because that’s my passion.”
Without a doubt, helping the youth not only in a monetary sense but a spiritual manner is paramount to the C.J. Wilson Helping Hands Foundation.
“C.J. grew up in in grew up in a God-fearing home and was taught from an early age to share with others and to always lend a helping hand. It’s just something that has always been in his nature,” Daniel said.
Those interested in getting involved can go to Wilson’s website cjwilsonhelpinghands.org or contact the organization at 919-995-9257.