Shaddox Swires is only 12 years old, but he already understands the value of hard work and responsibility.
He’s not your typical 12-year-old. He eats, sleeps, and breathes, football. He even has AstroTurf in his bedroom instead of carpet.
So, when Shaddox got the email that he was invited to an elite football camp in Atlanta he couldn’t believe it.
“I was like I got invited? What? This is crazy,” said Shaddox.
But he wasn’t satisfied with the camp invite, Shaddox felt he needed to pay for the camp himself.
“I just felt like I needed to be responsible for it, I mean, you know, I tried to step up a little bit,” said Shaddox. “Getting older you gotta put a little work in for your parents. They can’t just be, ‘OK here’s some more money.’”
So, he started his campaign. Reaching out to neighbors through text and phone calls to do whatever chores he could do to raise money. He even posted a video on Facebook.
In the video Shaddox volunteers his services for everything from lawn work, to washing cars, taking care of pets, even babysitting, and motivational speaking. All with the determination of paying for the camp himself.
“He really took the initiative with the video and with sending it out to people, I think he emailed and texted everybody in his phone saying, ‘Hey, you got any jobs for me?” said Shaddox’s mother Rachel Swires. “He talked to the neighbors too. And was just really able to get his word out to people.”
But with all his hard work and some community donations, Shaddox wasn’t able to raise enough money for the camp. So, his parents stepped in and made up the difference and Shaddox was able to attend the camp in Atlanta. An experience he’ll cherish forever.
“I loved the coaches there. They were hilarious and awesome. A couple of coaches that, they were just my favorite people ever,” said Shaddox. “I met a lot of cool kids there. Some kids that have had a lot of experience in football. Some competition and made some friends.”
Shaddox is very appreciative for what his parents did and will continue working jobs the rest of the summer to repay the money.
“That kid, he’s a one in a million,” said Kacy Swires of his son.
Shaddox will continue to work throughout the summer to pay his parents back the money for the camp and whatever money he raises above what he needs, he’ll apply to next year’s camp.
Shaddox is also optimistic that he will be chosen as one of the top performers and get invited to a camp in California where he will get to work with quarterbacks and coaches from the NFL.