Jaguars fans donate clothes to families in need

Published On: Dec 09 2012 01:39:08 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 10 2012 01:07:56 AM EST
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Jaguars fans were asked to bring coats to the game Sunday afternoon to give to people who desperately need them.

The Jaguars paired up with the group "Dignity U Wear" to help out less fortunate people this winter.

Just like like jolly old St. Nick, Steve Jolly is trying to spread around a little holiday warmth. Jolly is a senior on the Andrew Jackson High School basketball team. He and others on the squad helped collect warm clothes outside of EverBank Field.

"I think it's great. It's a great opportunity to give back to the community," Jolly said.

The first 200 fans through the gate who made donations got special gifts: a Rashean Mathis autographed football and a Marcedes Lewis autographed helmet. Other fans got signed photographs from players on the team.

Parker McCrary with Dignity-U-Wear said the donations are most welcome this time of year.

"As the temperatures get colder, having someone who is a celebrity like that to partner with us and really fulfill what our mission is which is to put the right clothing in the hands of people who are really trying to help themselves," McCrary said.

Peter Racine with the Jaguars Foundation says Rashean Mathis helped spearhead the project.

"Rashean asked to do this last year, and we did it among our coaches and players and the staff. He said, 'Do you think we could extend it to the fans this year?' So we said we'd give it a shot," according to Racine. "The Jets have done this for a number of years and they collect thousands of items when they do this because it's a big tradition. I know we're going to get hundreds of items. We already have four full bins just from our staff and coaches and players."

After they're collected, the clothes will be sorted out and given to local charities like Operation New Hope and the Clara White Mission.