Letters to the Editor

Tony Dungy: Be a hero, adopt a child

As a football coach, I always had to be ready to overcome unexpected challenges. With injuries, crowd noise, and especially weather, the game plan is always adjusting to overcome adversity.

Florida had to do the same thing in September when Hurricane Irma made landfall. Despite unprecedented damage across the state, families rallied together. A natural disaster can easily bring out the worst in humanity. I am proud that our community chose generosity rather than selfishness. Potentially dark days were illuminated by the many incredible Floridians who opened their homes and provided safe havens for those who needed it most.

Our community’s compassion in the wake of Irma has been extraordinary. It is heartwarming to see people opening their doors to welcome loved ones, neighbors, and strangers.

November is National Adoption Month, and I hope this spirit remains strong in our hearts. Just as many families leaned on neighbors’ hospitality for shelter in the wake of the hurricane, many children across Florida are waiting for someone to become their hero through foster care or adoption.

Children do better when they feel safe and loved. As adoptive and foster parents, my wife Lauren and I have witnessed the transformative effect of welcoming children into our own home.

I am always humbled when former players thank me years after I coached them. Usually, they mention how grateful they were for an opportunity. Though the joy I gained from mentoring young people far outweighs what I can give.

The same is true in fostering and adoption. Being a dad is my best job and my family is the greatest team. If you believe every child deserves a safe, loving home, visit: allprodad.com/foster or call 1-844-435-5437 to learn how you can be a hero to a child.

Tony Dungy,

retired Super Bowl-winning NFL head coach,

Tampa Bay