The Saints, in conjunction with the NFL, donated football equipment to flood-devastated Denham Springs High School
Football has the unique ability to unite communities around a central cause, and Denham Springs, Louisiana is a community in need of unification and strength as it continues to recover from last month's devastating floods.
As the community continues to recover, so does its football team: The Denham Springs High School Yellow Jackets. The New Orleans Saints, in conjunction with the National Football League, wanted to help accelerate the process and get the football program get back on its feet.
Together, the Saints and the NFL donated dozens of cleats, facemasks, shoes, and other equipment to the team Friday morning at Denham Springs High School. The donation is part of a broader movement to restore and uplift youth and high school football across the flood-affected area of Louisiana.
The Saints are joined by the NFL Foundation, Louisiana High School Athletic Association, and USA Football in these efforts.
Approximately 200 youth and high school football players and their families joined local officials and representatives from the Saints and NFL for a junior training camp and discussion about the importance of football to the community, especially during a time like this.
"Football provides lessons learned. You're going to get knocked down, you get back up. You play together," Denham Springs head coach Dru Nettles said.
Denham High School principal Kelly Jones echoed Nettles' sentiments regarding football's importance and emphasized both the urgency of getting football back up and running and how contributions from the Saints and NFL helped Denham Springs achieve that goal.
"When we saw everybody lose everything, we felt like one the quickest ways to recover was to give them a Friday night where they can put everything behind that they're dealing with," Jones said.
"When we got word from the NFL and our New Orleans Saints that they were going to step up and help out with that, it was an answered prayer, without a doubt," Jones added.
Denham Springs is scheduled to host Tara on September 9 in its 2016 home opener.