DETROIT – Detroit Lions head football coach Jim Caldwell makes a point of thanking his players for their community service by showing slides of them helping others during team meetings. This week, at least one of those slides will be dedicated to his quarterback, reported the Detroit Free Press.
A hit-and-run driver killed Jarrett during a traffic stop Oct. 28. His wife, Sacha, and four children survive him.
Steil was shot while in pursuit of a carjacking suspect and died five days later from a blood clot. He left behind his wife, JoAnn, and two young children.
“Kelly and I have done that for, not always an officer, but somebody, one or two families here and there, during the holidays the past five, six years, I think,” Stafford said. “Just something that we obviously feel fortunate to kind of have the platform that we have and surely don’t do it to get asked about it in this session, but just happy to hopefully bring some cheer to some people in the holidays that have maybe had a tough time, and this year was a great opportunity considering I did two families with fallen police officers, people that protect us and lost their lives in the line of duty. Something we felt was important and just happy to do it.”
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Words can't express how we felt about this family. I think you can see it in our smiles how happy a night it was. This family has gone through a lot in the past month, but you would have never known it.. they welcomed us into their home with open arms. We are so grateful that we were given a chance to meet them, it was one of the best gifts we could be given. #besttimeoftheyear #amazingfamily #familyovereverything #donttakeasecondforgrantedwithlovedones
Stafford was the Lions No. 1 draft selection in 2009. He has been heavily involved in community projects in and around Detroit since then. He said visits like the ones he paid to both families this week “does help put things in perspective, and this time of year is a great time to do it. … The families that we visited this holiday have been great and obviously appreciative,” Stafford said. “But as much as they’re getting out of it as seeing little kids that maybe just lost a father or a mother or whatever it was, have something to be happy about, it means a lot too, to be able to give back especially this time of year.”