Defensive end Cliff Avril was a winner long before his Seattle Seahawks beat the New York Jets on Sunday.
The 30-year-old made it possible for a new school to be built in rural Haiti. With the help of his wife, Danita, former teammate Marshawn Lynch, and a host of others from the Cliff Avril Family Foundation, the new school opened its doors on Thursday to kindergarten and first grade students.
@Tia827 cuts the ribbon on @cliffavril school in Haiti and passed out uniforms pic.twitter.com/D1AtXUTcqZ
— JOC PR (@JOCPRPro) September 29, 2016
The work doesn’t stop there either. Avril is building six different classrooms to accommodate each elementary school grade. It’s a major upgrade from the tin roof supported by 4×4’s where students crammed into before.
Arrived in La Chanm today to open @cliffavril school in Haiti. #avrilhaiti2016 pic.twitter.com/CYwH6FZXUh — JOC PR (@JOCPRPro) September 29, 2016
The region hits close to Avril’s heart. Growing up, he made trips to the country every year with his Haitian parents to visit his grandmother and extended family.
He knew that children in the area walked over an hour to school every day just to receive some type of formal education, yet their schoolhouse didn’t have electricity. Avril contacted Lynch, who put him in touch with Free the Children.
I had the opportunity to work with an organization called Free the Children that goes to different third-world countries. I met them, they do work in Haiti, and I realized this was the perfect opportunity to do something in Haiti and I’m fortunate to make it happen.”
The group also handed out backpacks, donated school supplies for the classrooms, and purchased shoes and uniforms for the kindergarten students. (Yahoo Sports)
According to Avril, the goal is to have the second schoolhouse built by April.
This all transpired a day after he hosted his third annual Dining to Make a Difference event, which raised over $250,000 for juvenile diabetes.
What a week, capped off by four tackles, one sack, and two quarterback hits in his team’s win against the Jets.