Michael Johnson and his foundation recently hosted a group of kids for a volunteer activity at Matthew 25 Ministries while partnering with the Cincinnati Police Department to talk to the kids about what's going on in America lately and to educate kids on bias, race relations and safety.
The volunteer activity involved having the children make toiletries for disaster relief areas. Before the kids got started with that though they had a chance to meet Johnson and with a police officer to discuss any questions or concerns they may have about the police or current state of America.
Prior to this season Johnson worked with Most Valuable Kids to challenge kids to write an essay about how they overcoming their obstacles. Johnson swapped out the essay for this volunteer activity this year. Johnson and the Cincinnati Police Department plan to continue and potentially expand their partnership with a join up once a month.
Johnson has been very involved with the Bengals on the field this season. He has one sack so far this season. It also seems the Bengals have begun to play him at the defensive tackle position more this season as players like Carl Lawson show their talent.
It is great to see the Bengals’ players take an interest in helping out the community. The event was set up in a way that it helps out on several fronts as well. People in need of hurricane relief are being helped, and the police and children are interacting, which is always a positive for their relationship going forward. If the program does expand and become more frequent that would only help mend these divides.
"What better way to understand and get to know each other than to volunteer together? The goal is to get kids and officers working side by side for the betterment of the community, to learn from each other and ultimately, for everyone to get home safely during this time of high racial tensions," Johnson explains. "Are you part of the problem or are you part of the solution?" he asks.