To some critics NFL players are nothing more than over paid and pampered jerks. They figure anyone who makes well over seven figures for playing a game can’t be anything more than that. However, they’d be wrong. The NFL is full of great guys who not only shine on the field, but they also take pride in shining in their communities by lending a helping hand. One of these role models is two time Super Bowl champ and former New England Patriot, Jarvis Green. Known for his work off the field as much as on it, the hulking giant has been tending to the needs of those less fortunate for as long as he’s been in the league and the current NFL lockout hasn’t stopped that in the least bit. (Read about another celebrity charity.)
What have you been doing in light of the lockout?
Well I own a construction company and the past year I’ve been doing that. I also have my foundation, the Jarvis Green Foundation. The construction company is called First Millennium Construction Company and I am a partner. The principle owner has been in the business for 17 years and we do commercial and other works as well. We do a lot of government work and work with a lot of other big companies like Walton Core. As for us we are a black, minority owned construction company. My family and I are in Denver right now and that’s what I’ve been doing to stay busy. I’ve been making a lot of important moves for my future and this is just my plan b. if football was to end today for me, this is what I would be doing.
Construction isn’t something you would really associate with a NFL player. Why did you want to get involved with that type of business?
Well I went to LSU and finished in 2002 in constructional engineering. It took me five years to graduate, but since I was at LSU I worked at a fortune 500 company called the Shaw Group during the summertime when I had an offseason. I’ve always been very serious about what I wanted to do because since I was in my second year in the league I worked at Rolls Royce. They don’t build cars anymore, they build ship propellers for the Navy and other things like spaceship motors and airplane motors, but I did internships my second and third year in the league doing things like that and since then it has always been a dream of mine to work with construction and be involved in it in some kind of way. Then I had the opportunity this past year to buy into a company and I thank God for that because it’s thriving and it’s a pretty nice sized company. It’s just funny because I could have been doing something else as far as businesses.
How important was it for you to be involved in a minority owned business?
I know if I was to be done with football right now I would be happy to get my resume together and go into a large company and work behind a desk making 40 to 50 grand a year starting off because that’s what my degree is about. But, football blessed me with having the cash during my nine years of football to be able to have the funds to get into a business and buy some ownership, but at the same time I’m bringing my self confidence and my expertise to this company. Also, I am a black man and you don’t have a lot of minority owned black companies out there that you could say are strong and powerful and I joined with a company that’s strong and powerful already, so I just wanted to bring my part of the bargain to make it even stronger and that’s what we’ve been doing and we’ve been moving up.
You also spend your free time focusing on your Jarvis Green Foundation. What was the premise behind it?
Well I have my foundation that helps disadvantaged single working mothers and we do a lot of events per year, probably six to ten events every year depending on what’s going on. The foundation started right after Hurricane Katrina. I lost a lot of family members and my family members lost a lot of homes and at the time I was doing a lot of community work with New England and I had gotten the Ron Burton Award in 2006 and from that I always did a lot of things in Katrina, but after Katrina hit I wanted to start my own foundation, so I could help people and be personal with people. I could have started something to help orphans or the sick and elderly, but I wanted to help the single mothers because if I help them I will also be helping the kids. Ever since then the foundation has been rolling and we’ve helped over 150 moms to date. We donate and give away a lot of money through helping with mortgages, college tuitions, school payments, Christmas time for the kids, food, clothing, utilities; anything you can think of is what the foundation supports for the single mothers.
What areas does the foundation take place in?
Right now it’s in Boston, Providence and its Louisiana where we have the annual Southern Louisiana Wine Tasting and Gala in Baton Rouge. It’s a great event and people can check out jarvisgreen.com for more information on it. I always tell single moms they can write an essay of 500 words or less about why they deserve help and need assistance on the website.
Do you have future plans to expand the foundation?
I do a lot of wine tastings and a lot of wine socials. That’s the biggest thing for me because I love to network, hang out and drink wine. That’s what I do now, but I may have a golf tournament next year during the spring time in Baton Rouge. Other than that we’re going to stick with the moms and stick with kids and find other ways that we can raise money and support them.