Tuesday’s off day provided Mark Sanchez with a chance to keep things in perspective.
The Jets have become a punch line in recent days, thanks to their disastrous 49-19 loss to New England Thanksgiving night. But Sanchez spent Tuesday giving back to Far Rockaway, a community severely ravaged by Superstorm Sandy.
The starting quarterback made the trek from New Jersey to Queens this afternoon to help volunteer for City Harvest, distributing pantry bags and food from Dinosaur BBQ to about 300 residents.
City Harvest, which provides food to hungry men, women and children on a daily basis, has delivered more than 3.8 million pounds of food since Superstorm Sandy.
“The most important thing was to make sure people have a hot meal in times like this, near Thanksgiving and the holidays, especially after the tragedy of Sandy,” Sanchez said at the distribution site on the playground of P.S. 215.
“So we’re just doing our best to give back. I wore my Jets gear and wanted to let these people know that we think about them when we’re playing. It just gives us great perspective on what else is going on outside of football.”
Earlier this month, Sanchez took part in a helicopter flyover to assess the damage of Superstorm Sandy on the Jersey Shore. “This is a different side,” he said of his trip to Far Rockaway. “This is a more human side as well, where you actually get to interact with a lot of the people that were affected and less fortunate. We love both sides of it, I’m really honored to be here and just happy that it worked out.”
Sanchez said the importance of service and community outreach have been stressed to, not just by Rex Ryan, but also during his time at Mission Viejo High School and USC.
“Being as fortunate as we are, playing a wonderful game professionally and making that our livelihood, it’s important to give back and just be a good example for these youngsters, especially this holiday season,” he said. “To make sure that people know that you’re thinking about them and they mean a lot to us.”