New York Giants’ veteran Rhett Ellison is the quintessential NFL role player, fashioning an eight-year career out of doing whatever is asked of him: fullback, tight end, special teams.
But this week Ellison and his family played an incredible role for a New Jersey mother and her children.
‘It means the world to me’
Taneka Howell, a single mother of three who is a domestic abuse survivor, is being evicted at the end of the month from their one-bedroom apartment in Irvington, N.J.
But Ellison, through a connection made by Project Kind and A Little Help, organizations that build support systems for single mothers and those experiencing homelessness, donated one year’s worth of rent to Howell.
“I don’t even know how to say thank you,” Howell told Ellison, via CBS New York. She signed the lease on Tuesday.
“You don’t have to say thank you. Thank you for allowing us to help you guys out. I think it’s important to our family,” Ellison said.
“It means the world to me. It just means that my kids will be safe,” Howell said.
Hoping to help others
Before the apartment in Irvington, Howell and her children were living in a shelter after she escaped an abusive situation.
She is now in college full-time and studying criminal justice, with the goal of helping others like her.
“I want to work with victims and I’ll be a victim advocate for domestic violence. … That’s where we came from, coming out of a shelter for domestic violence. So I just want to be able to one day help somebody like somebody helped me,” Howell said.
Her children, 17-year-old Zaihmir, 13-year-old Jonathan and 10-year-old Miciah, are thankful their mother had the courage to ask for help, and thankful that there were those willing to offer support.
“It’s good to know that there are people who are actually able to help us and willing to look out for us,” Zaihmir Howell said.
Ellison also invited the family to Sunday’s Giants-Packers game.
“That’s what it’s about,” he said. “It’s ... serving, giving what you have to others.”
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