The Russ Lyon Charitable Foundation had the opportunity to sit down for a Q and A with Arizona Cardinals star Running Back, David Johnson, about his upcoming Mission 31: POSSIBLE event hosted by the David Johnson Mission Foundation.
We understand you started the Mission 31 foundation this year, what inspired you to start it?
The Foundation came from wanting to have a positive impact on children’s lives. Growing up my coaches, teachers, and older mentors played a huge role in my life. That is why I went to college to become a Physical Education/Health teacher with a minor in coaching. My intentions were to better children’s lives mentally, physically, and emotionally. Just like my role models did for me. My wife, Meghan, and I would volunteer at children’s hospital and Ronald McDonald House. We loved the experience we had with the children, seeing them smile and get excited was an amazing feeling. Meghan has always wanted to work on an oncology unit for children. She went to nursing school and her dream job was to work at St. Jude’s children’s hospital in Tennessee. She has a huge passion to help children as well. This Foundation combines our passions in to one amazing cause.
How did you come up the name Mission 31?
We wanted to incorporate my jersey number in the title. Then, we wanted a short but powerful word/phrase that would speak to others. One definition of the word “Mission” is the calling of a religious organization, especially a Christian one, to go out into the world and spread its faith. Meghan and I felt that the meaning fits our morals and what we want to do with the platform God has given us.
Why is this cause so near and dear to your heart?
When our son, DJ, was born he spent 5 days in the nursery/NICU. We were hopeful he would be okay, but as first-time parents we were still very scared. When you see your baby in pain like that you never want to go through something like that ever again. We constantly think about all the other families who have it worse than we did, and whose children have diseases and cancer and their hospital stays are much longer. We want to be able to bring some kind of relief to families when they are dealing with such a stressful time.
Tell us about your December Mission 31 Possible event that’s coming up.
The event on December 4th will be at the newly remodeled Mountain Shadows resort. Guests will have the chance to mix and mingle with me and my Cardinals teammates. Beginning at 6:30 supporters and fans will enjoy a cocktail reception full of silent auction items followed by the main event where they will enjoy world class cuisine, fine wine, and exciting live auctions all to benefit my David Johnson Mission 31 Foundation whose mission is to provide opportunities, support, and resources to seriously ill children and their families by offering daily support and life changing experiences. If you can’t attend the event, you can also donate on the website at davidjohnson31.org.
How will the money raised the Mission 31: Possible event be used?
The money will be focused towards launching DJ’s Locker. These Lockers will provide patients and their family members access to electronics during hospital stays. They serve as a source of entertainment, a portal for communication and a diversion during treatment and recovery.