My Cause My Cleats: Jacksonville Jaguars tip Logan Cooke and wife fund water well in Kenya

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. When Logan Cooke first saw the picture, he was stunned.

Two glasses filled with water, one clear and the other a cloudy white with particles of … things … suspended throughout. Cooke was convinced that people in the small Kenyan village of Three Rivers had been drinking and cooking with the latter all their lives.

“That was all they knew,” said Cooke, the Jacksonville Jaguars’ fourth-year tipper. “We drink water every day, drink half a bottle of Dasani and throw it in the bin, and we just do not think about it.

“It just looks like you went to the pond out there. They are in two glass cups. The one you can not even see through it, it’s obviously like brown dirty water, and the other is ready. It looks like Aquafina. Just the difference of it, it’s wild. And those children did not know otherwise. “

No one in the village should use the brown water anymore after the construction of a well.

Cooke and his wife, Mary, partnered with New York-based Zoe Ministries to build the well, and that’s why Cooke is promoting Sunday in the NFL’s annual My Cause My Cleats program, which allows NFL players to choose a case that is important to them and represent it with specially designed cleats.

Cooke is one of 48 Jaguars players and coaches who will be wearing custom-made cleats or sneakers during Sunday’s game at the Los Angeles Rams. Cook’s black and white cleats have the Zoe Ministries logo on the side and a drawing of a well near the heel.

Cooke said his wife, who is a nurse, had been interested in international missionary work for some time and had hoped to travel to Africa to spend time in some clinics. Cooke had done some missionary work in the United States before, and it got him interested in doing an international mission.

He was scheduled to take on a Fellowship of Christian Athletes-sponsored trip to Africa with other NFL players to run some camps in June 2020, before the pandemic rejected those plans.

Then came the opportunity to help with the well, and Cooke said he and his wife quickly agreed. Cooke, whose average of 43.3 net yards per. punt is fourth in the NFL, said he wanted to keep his contribution to the project private.

There was an initial attempt at a well at another village, but the well did not find water and the project moved to Three Rivers, near the Ugandan border. Cooke said he and his wife received pictures of the progress and finally got the ones they wanted to see.

‘They sent pictures of those who started drilling [the first well], and children around there were turned on and excited. We were pumped and were told a month later that they were not actually hitting the water, ”Cooke said. “… The next pictures we got from that village were the ones drilling and the water just shooting up like oil. It was fat.”

Cooke said he and his wife and son, Cooper, who was born on October 11, hope to take a trip to Africa this summer to see the well and spend time helping as much as they can. Although his only experience has been through pictures, Cooke said what he has seen has been a strong reminder of how lucky most of us are.

“Once you get pictures back and in a way saw where they live, and like, they are so backward with time, it’s incredible,” he said. “They’re still in cabins. The kids, I mean, they’re so happy over there, too, and it makes me feel so awful to ever get discouraged over here or have pity on myself.”

But when he talked about the picture of the two glasses of water, he smiled as much as the children in some of the other pictures he has received.

“It was cool to see the difference from the water they drank,” Cooke said. “They walked miles every day to get water from the river. It was ugly and polluted stuff.”

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