During a time when the country, and world for that matter are in crisis-mode, each of us are desperately seeking some semblance of positive news. As I started looking down avenues that have not been closed off, one came into view in a prominent way. What avenue am I talking about? The WWE of course. Vince McMahon has yet to put his billion dollar organization on hold. It is one of the few remaining sports entities for fans still fully operational. However, I’m not here to talk about wrestling per say, but rather one of its most famed participants. Once more, it has nothing to do with in ring bravado. It’s something much greater. Allow me to remove the mystery. I am speaking of none other than 16-time world champion, John Cena. Why does he deserve our attention? His tireless efforts in the form of charity/philanthropy are something greater than any title reign or Wrestlemania victory. Such efforts should be greatly applauded.
The Make a Wish Foundation is an international non-profit organization that helps grant life-changing wishes to children who are critically ill. During his professional career, John Cena has been the most sought after superstar for the Make a Wish Foundation. In 2004, he granted his first wish. Ironically, it was on accident. Apparently, the “wisher” had requested to see another superstar, but a mistake was made. Fast forward to present day, the wrestling icon has granted well over 600 wishes. None of those were on accident. It went from an awkward beginning, but it morphed into a life calling. “I said, ‘If you ever need me for this ever, I don’t care what I’m doing, I will drop what I’m doing and be involved because I think that’s the coolest thing,’”Cena said. It has become his life calling. He values the platform that being a WWE Superstar has created for him to do exactly this. John sees is at as a gateway to provide hope and happiness to children as well as their families. Those on the receiving end of his generosity can argue he has not only done that, but far exceeded those intentions. What makes this even more heart warming is his humble attitude and the effect it’s had on him. “If you were given one wish, what would you do with it? I don’t know if ‘hang out with John Cena’ would be at the top of the list. But the fact that this is on someone’s list is the coolest thing. We’ve all experienced that joy of giving a gift for the holidays where you just nail it-that’s the same gift I get in giving back to people’s lives, in being able to give them wonderful emotional moments,” Cena said.
John Cena Has Granted Over 600 Make a Wish Foundation Wishes—More Than Any Celebrity in History https://t.co/TEa6iE4LTz— People (@people) November 6, 2019
As if that wasn’t enough, last fall it was announced that he would be donating $500,000 to first responders who were fighting the California wildfires. Some may view an act of benevolence of this magnitude as nothing more than a good gesture. Think again. To John Cena, the roots for this run deep. “I’ve been doing interviews and when everybody asks me about first responders I tell them they’re my heroes, simply because they put themselves in harm’s way to save others. I can’t tell you in good faith that these people are my heroes and then in their time of need, when they need something, if I don’t respond to that call, I’m not backing up what I’m telling you,” John stated.
As an extension of this donation, he founded a fitness organization dedicated ending veteran suicide called “FitOps”. The heartbeat behind its formation is to convey a message to those who risk their lives for our country that they have value and purpose. “(Veterans) are people I truly admire and mimic my life ethos off of how they operate as human beings – honor to our country, hustle, loyalty and respect,” Cena said. “I can keep telling you things that I have morphed from the military that I have developed into my own pillars of values and beliefs,”Cena said. To show how passionate he is for this cause, John issued a challenge to everyone. He said for every dollar donated, he would match it up to $1 million. The ultimate goal though is to reach $2 million in the fight against veteran suicide.
So overjoyed and thankful to all who’ve donated to @fit_ops helping our #veterans You have given over $500k so far and I will MATCH every dollar up to $1,000,000! Let’s make #VeteransDay even more impactful and all do our best to help our heroes! pic.twitter.com/mnFTxuBW7K— John Cena (@JohnCena) November 1, 2019
During these seemingly dark days, a light is brightly shining. It comes in the form of a pro-wrestler seeking to make a difference. John Cena is selflessly doing so by pouring life, hope, and his wealth into those that have a great need. Children with a limited life span and veterans who are seeking to bring an end to theirs’ are being given a reason to live. Not only are they being equipped with a reason to go on, but also the courage to fight. The coronavirus is spreading like wildfire, but stories like this can bring joy in a time of panic. Although Cena may be involved in many ventures, don’t be surprised if he decides to join this battle as well. If he does, my money is on him.
I am a 2003 graduate from the University of Alabama with a degree in Exercise Science. While at the Capstone, I served as a student assistant with the head strength and conditioning coach of the Crimson Tide football team. I have competed in both powerlifting and bodybuilding for several years. In addition, I have served athletes and people through the arena of personal training. Jesus is my Lord and Savior. I am a passionate fan of Alabama, but do not make other fan bases miserable because of it. College football has my heart first, but I cover all areas of sports. Follow me on Twitter: @justinriley7!