Filanthropy Friday

Amid all the commotion around the Ray Rice domestic abuse situation the last week, my friend Michelle made a very good point. She said she was so tired of hearing about the bad guys in sports, she was going to make a conscious effort to seek out the good ones.

So with that in mind, I thought I would periodically shine my tiny bloglight on athletes who are, as far as we can tell, living their lives for the good of others. Whether it’s giving wheelchairs to children (David Beckham), donating their own money to orphanages (Clayton Kershaw), or just leaving a waitress a good tip (actually, a lot of guys), there really are sports stars out there who seem to appreciate that they are rich, gorgeous, and talented and don’t mind sharing a little love with the rest of the huddled masses.

Big Daddy. (

Big Daddy. (

This week, I’m introducing you to St. Louis Rams center Scott Wells and his wife Julie. A year after their son Jackson was born in 2004, the Wells’ underwent the tragedy of losing premature twin sons on Thanksgiving Day. Eventually they gave birth to daughter Lola and son Langston, but the specter of their sadness remained.

But a solution was becoming apparent. Feeling what they believed to be God’s influence, the couple decided to adopt two children from Uganda, Elijah and R.J. It wasn’t an easy trip. Scott was recovering from knee surgery and had to return to the U.S. while Julie stayed for three months to get to know the children. The couple faced corruption in a system known for bribes and taking advantage of the wealthy.

But if there was any doubt, then God REALLY showed up. R.J., it was discovered, had a sister, Caroline. The Wells’ hardly gave it a thought.

“We decided to keep the brother and sister together,” Wells said. “I said, ‘What’s the difference between five and six kids?'” he said in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch interview.

Now the 300-pound Pro-Bowler, who holds two degrees in history and sociology, has a team of six, counting the three “transfers.”

And for their sake, not a moment too soon.

“To us, and talking to people who have done mission work over there and have adopted over there, the need was great,” Wells went on in the same interview. “HIV’s huge over there, malaria, tuberculosis. The life expectancy’s not great; it’s very low. The majority of the population’s young because people don’t live to be old. So we really just felt … that’s where we were being led.”

And for that, Scott Wells, the Ladies Room leaves the seat up for you.


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