Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn helps family make huge comeback (VIDEO)
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn was a hero during the team’s miracle win vs. the Indianapolis Colts – the largest comeback in NFL history.
He is also a hero to Jory and Kaleigha – a Minneapolis family making a huge comeback of their own. The couple has had an awful year, enduring periods of homelessness after Jory was injured and out of work. They have spent months couch-hopping at the homes of their friends – all while Kaleigha is pregnant with their second child.
Lately, Jory and Kaleigha have been busy fighting their way back to stability. Jory is healthy enough to work again and recently secured a good job at a dairy company. But a big hurdle has remained: Saving enough money to pay the deposit for an apartment.
With K.J.’s help, Jory and Kaleigha have crossed the goal line. On Dec. 20, The Salvation Army brought Jory and Kaleigha to Scheels in Eden Prairie, where K.J. surprised them by paying the majority of their apartment deposit, with The Salvation Army covering the rest.
Kaleigha burst into tears.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” she said, moments after K.J. broke the news. “This means that my family finally has a place to be a family.”
K.J. wanted to help because he knows firsthand what it means to struggle. He grew up in Ypsilanti, Mich., with his mom and sister after his parents divorced. For a long while his mother had trouble making ends meet, working two jobs while attending school to be a dental hygienist.
“Times were rough,” recalled K.J., adding that he still maintained a good relationship with his dad, who went on to remarry. “In middle school, my sister and I would help my mom clean a car dealership to pay our rent – sometimes after (football) games or after practice.”
When times were roughest, K.J.’s mother, Val Osborn, received rent assistance on several occasions – once from The Salvation Army, and also from an anonymous donor who walked into their apartment complex office with a surprise blessing.
K.J. explained to Jory and Kaleigha that he partnered with The Salvation Army to take care them because of the same help his family once received.
“Somebody blessed my family, so it’s only right that in my position that God has blessed me with, that I bless somebody else,” he told the couple, before picking up a bell and ringing at a red kettle inside the Scheels store for an hour (pictured below). “Continue to keep God first and He will bless you – I know that firsthand. Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.”
Jory and Kaleigha are grateful for the help they received, thanks to K.J. Osborn and your donations to The Salvation Army.
“This is a Christmas miracle,” Kaleigha said. “You see these things happen on TV, but it’s different to be the one receiving. K.J. and The Salvation Army – thank you, thank you, thank you. This means so much to us.”
In addition to helping Jory and Kaleigha, K.J. provided rent assistance for two other families in the Twin Cities and another family in his hometown of Ypsilanti.
This holiday season, The Salvation Army is calling on all of our supporters to Love Beyond. #LoveBeyond is a national Salvation Army campaign that encourages people to put love above all else, in order to show families in need that love exists beyond their most difficult situations – be it hunger, overdue bills, eviction, addiction, and other hardships. Join us by giving to our $1 Million Community Challenge Match, signing up to volunteer, or ringing bells at a Red Kettle.