Billy Horschel, Feeding Northeast Florida to #DriveOutHunger at THE PLAYERS
March 14, 2019
By Doug Milne, PGATOUR.COM
- March 14, 2019
- Billy Horschel will donate $1,000 for every birdie and $5,000 for every eagle that he makes during THE PLAYERS to Feeding Northeast Florida for his #DriveOutHunger campaign. (PGA TOUR)
Editor’s note: Billy Horschel once again will host his #DriveOutHunger campaign for Feeding Northeast Florida. He will donate $1,000 for every birdie and $5,000 for every eagle that he makes during THE PLAYERS to Feeding Northeast Florida. Horschel is encouraging fans and supporters to do their part by going to www.feedingnefl.org, clicking on “take action” and choosing “Billy Horschel’s #DriveOutHunger Campaign,” and then selecting their donation amount.
In Northeast Florida this morning, upwards of 50,000 kids woke up with the same dire question in mind:
“Will I get anything to eat today?”
Some days work out better than others.
Also this morning, there were thousands of household heads struggling to put food on the table for their family. With no guarantees, some days, again, work out better than others.
The figures are staggering and heartbreaking. And with numbers like that, too often, those living day-to-day with food insecurity remain nameless and faceless.
On Tuesday of this week’s PLAYERS Championship, though, two key players in the mission to provide better, more stable lives to those in need came face-to-face for the first time.
Trevic McAfee is an active duty member of the U.S. Navy. He was deployed six times between 2002 and 2018 to places ranging from the Persian Gulf to Somalia to Central and South America. He and his wife, Michelle, are also foster parents living in Jacksonville. In addition to their two biological children, the couple have fostered 12 children in just the last three years. Their passion for foster kids even resulted in the adoption of one.
In order to continue with their mission of fostering, Trevic and Michelle need help keeping food on the table.
Billy Horschel is a five-time PGA TOUR champion and winner of the 2014 FedExCup. He and his wife, Brittany, don’t need help keeping food on the table.
In 2014, the Horschels – Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, residents – learned of Feeding Northeast Florida, a beneficiary of THE PLAYERS and an organization dedicated to helping local kids, families, seniors and active and retired military members who struggle with having enough food.
The decision for the Horschels to help an organization the McAfees rely upon was a quick and easy one.
“We got involved in 2014 when we were looking for an organization we could get behind and support,” said Horschel. “Just seeing the figures about how many kids in Northeast Florida are food insecure made a real impact on us. There are also figures about how many adults, even adults working 9-5 jobs who struggle."
“When it comes down to making ends meet, food falls through the cracks after things like house bills, car payments and everything else. It just made a lot of sense for us to get behind it and we’re very enthusiastic to stay with it.”
Of the dozen foster children that have gone through the McAfee’s home in the last three years en route to better lives, Trevic and Michelle have had everything from a child that born at 24 weeks who spent her first two months in ICU, to a child rescued from human trafficking.
“My wife and I are foster parents and Feeding Northeast Florida came into our lives when we needed help providing good, nourishing food,” said McAfee. “The cost these days is extremely high. We had a child in our care that was Type 1 diabetic, and it was very expensive to make sure she got the nourishment she needed.”
“It just really touched our hearts. We thought of all the people that just don’t have enough food to enjoy a quality, daily life,” said Horschel. “We really thought about kids and the food they need to be able to focus and study and get the nutrition they need. We knew it was something we could get behind. So, we did just that.”
“We felt we were being called by God to reach out to children,” said McAfee. “My wife and I have always had the urge to adopt children, so we thought we would try the fostering route and it has just been a blessing. We actually adopted one of our foster daughters. Sadly, that doesn’t always happen. The court system will do their best to try and get the child reunited with some sort of family member. If they can’t do that, the child goes up for adoption.”
Feeding Northeast Florida annually serves over 150 social service agencies and programs, including the City Rescue Mission, The Sulzbacher Center and Salvation Army. In 2017, Feeding Northeast Florida provided more than 12.5 million meals to those in need in eight Northeast Florida counties. In 2018, the number of provided meals grew to 14.1 million.
While the increase in meals served is a telltale sign of the collective heart of those in Northeast Florida, it is also a glaring reminder of the growing number of those still in need.
“I’ve always held that belief that it doesn’t matter how successful you are or how much money you make, we should want to leave the world a little better than we find it,” said Horschel. “Whatever you’ve got to do – donate money, use your public arena to bring awareness to a cause, or volunteer your time – you’re doing something to better this world. I do a job that is very public and is one a lot of people see. I’m very fortunate that I make a good living and at the same time can bring awareness to the needs of others and give money to Feeding Northeast Florida.”
“We get to see the good stuff and bad stuff and do our part to provide the love they probably have never had,” said McAfee. “Thanks to people like Billy and Feeding Northeast Florida, we get to put them to bed each night with a warm, full belly.”
When Horschel and McAfee connected Tuesday at TPC Sawgrass and put faces to one another in the united fight to make the world a better place, McAfee presented Horschel with a Challenge Coin. Carried often by members of the military, Challenge Coins are given thoughtfully to individuals deemed likely to inspire, enhance morale and, therefore, improve the quality of life for others.
If one of those 50,000 children wakes up tomorrow without that burning question at the forefront of their mind, that mission will remain headed in the right direction.