The couple selected the Celebrities for Charity Foundation to assist with the effort, drawing on the group’s experience at helping athletes and others raise funds for charitable organizations. Wanting the average individual to have an opportunity to own a piece of history, they chose a raffle format, also recognizing it would provide maximum return (for more information, see www.netraffle.org).
Proceeds will go to Asia’s Hope, a cooperating ministry within the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches that cares for orphans in Southeast Asia. Also benefiting will be Feed My Starving Children, a Christian organization that provides highly nutritious meals for severely malnourished children, and other charities in the Boston area and around the Cherry’s home in Macedonia, Ohio.
The Cherrys were in the audience at Momentum East, the annual Grace Brethren youth conference, when students, volunteers, and staff raised more than $90,000 to provide 10,000 meals for children in third world countries, build an orphanage in Cambodia, and replace a roof at Urban Hope, a Grace Brethren inner city Philadelphia ministry. By the end of the week, there was enough left over to go help begin another orphanage in Thailand.
Moved by God, Je’Rod and Samua decided to sell the ring. It was one of three he received while playing with the Patriots and the one that he treasures the most.
In the weeks since the auction began, the Cherrys, who are members of the Western Reserve Grace Brethren Church in Macedonia, Ohio (Jason Haymaker, pastor), have been in the center of a whirlwind of publicity. They’ve appeared on television and radio shows in Boston, been featured in the Boston Herald, and in other media. The number of requests for personal appearances, where Cherry frequently shares his faith in God, has increased. But the couple also knows their efforts are in God’s hands and they credit the experience for seeing personal and spiritual growth.
“I’ve recognized what God has blessed me with and what life is about,” Cherry stresses. “It’s not about me. There is a freedom we have in life when we make Christ our focus.”