The Southern California Honda Dealers have been giving back to the community with their Random Acts of Helpfulness now for over 10 years. One of the ways they give back is by helping at schools across SoCal, whether they’re providing supplies for a classroom or helping a fan to upgraded seats at a local college football game.
While well-known for their presence at USC and UCLA football games where they help fans with a lift to stadium, provide free parking for Hondas, and give out helpful game-day items like sunscreen and cooling towels that help make the day even better for the fans, the SoCal Honda Dealers also show support for the student athletes who someday may play for the state’s big name college teams.
At one such Southern California high school this season, the team showed up at a football practice to cheer on Jennifer, a placekicker that coach Lorenzo Hernandez plucked from the school’s soccer squad to become a star on his special team. Jennifer is understandably nervous about being — as she says — “the only girl in varsity football.” To give her confidence a boost, the Helpful Honda Guys in Blue brought along a friend: Melvin Gordon, star running back for the Los Angeles Chargers.
Coach Hernandez and his players were surprised to see Gordon, but none were more surprised than Jennifer, whom the pro ball player came to see. Gordon acknowledged that being the only girl on a boys’ team will be a challenge for Jennifer, but as the pro-running back told her, “You may have doubts, but don’t let no one say that you can’t be somebody.”
Jennifer and the rest of the team spent some time practicing their drills with Gordon, who passed on some of his skills and, perhaps more importantly, some of his confidence. “The best advice I got [from Gordon],” said Jennifer at the end of the day, “is to have that confidence in myself to prove that I could be just as good as the boys.”
Arranging a visit by a member of the Los Angeles Chargers, however, was not the only surprise that the Helpful Honda guys had for the kids. “Courtesy of the SoCal Honda Dealers,” they added, “we are going to help fix up and improve your training facilities.”
That promise has a big impact for Coach Hernandez and his team, and will continue to impact the teams that follow. It’s just one more way the SoCal Honda Dealers are being helpful.