Yesterday was Giving Tuesday. It was estimated that generous people across America would give more than $350 million yesterday. I’m so thankful for the individuals who chose to invest their gifts into the One Heart Project, to help us give kids in the juvenile justice system a true second chance.
All throughout the day, my thoughts ran to a man who lived the spirit of Giving Tuesday every day. Bob McNair was best known to the public as the owner of the Houston Texans – the man who brought football back to the city, after their beloved Oilers left.
But Mr. McNair, who passed away Friday, was more than just an NFL owner. A stellar business innovator, he was a man who cared about people, who lived his faith, and who touched many lives… because he gave. He gave of himself, often working hands on with numerous missional projects; and who gave of his resources, donating some $500 million over the years through the Robert and Janice McNair Foundation.
It was in that giving posture that I met Mr. McNair. I had first met his wife, Janice, when I had the opportunity to present our vision for holistically transforming lives of at-risk youth at an NFL owners’ wives’ luncheon. Mrs. McNair was one of the first people to jump up and commit to linking arms with us to multiply impact. After she shared our mission with her husband, Bob jumped in with her.
He was encouraging, gracious, warm and humble… a man who did not want to be recognized for the good he did. He was an expression of God’s compassion. He played a significant role in the early stages of the One Heart Project. I’m so grateful that he and Janice chose to invest in us, and in the kids we serve.
And I’m forever thankful that I had the opportunity to cross his path. It is in seeing the example of people like Bob McNair that we see character with skin on.
The world’s loss, in this case, is heaven’s gain. Yet, we have the opportunity to recall the imprint of an extraordinary man who is an archetype of a life lived well.