He has always put his team first while maintaining the mindset of helping those around him. That would be Dominique Rhymes in a nutshell. And even while recovering from an early-season knee injury with hopes he can return to the Lions’ offence early next month; the big target hasn’t stopped giving. Rhymes has proudly served as the club’s ambassador for World Vision, our National Charity Partner that has helped underprivileged children around the world for over 70 years.
Ahead of Saturday’s home clash with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, bclions.com spoke with Rhymes on how much pride he takes in supporting World Vision.
“I was presented this opportunity by (Lions vice-president of business) George Chayka in the off-season to support a great organization that helps people and, specifically, young kids around the world,” explained Rhymes this week.
“I told him I’d love the opportunity to be a part of something like this. I think that’s super important to give back to the youth that have been impacted by tough circumstances.”
Growing up just outside of Miami, Florida, Rhymes was exposed to poverty and saw those less fortunate needing to rely on help from their local charities. That also played a major role in stepping up to support World Vision.
“My Mom always supported me and my brother. We didn’t have a lot but she took care of us greatly and we were still fortunate,” recalls Rhymes.
“Some of my classmates were not as fortunate. They couldn’t afford meals and the schools would send them home with dinners and everything. Seeing that with my own eyes affected me personally. I’m grateful for the chance to give back with this.”
Rhymes further understood the importance of giving back following an off-season visit to World Vision Canada headquarters, located in Mississauga, Ontario.
“It was a great experience. I got to see the facility where they get everything done, where they set up foundations and do most of their groundwork of helping out their communities and providing food and other donations,” he recalled.
“Just meeting people that have been there from day one changing lives was a great experience and eye-opening for me. They’re just good people who do good work and don’t look for credit or for people to congratulate them. They do the work out of the goodness of their hearts and try to help people in bad situations.”
“It was a thrill to throw Dominique a football when he visited our office, and even more gratifying to be supported by his incredible talent and passion for our mission to serve the world’s most vulnerable boys and girls,” said Michael Messenger, CEO, World Vision Canada. “
“We’re delighted that Dominique has converted touchdowns to donations and we’re looking forward to all we can accomplish as we partner with Dominique and BC Lions’ amazing fans.”
A major pillar of Rhymes’ commitment to World Vision is those $200 donations to the charity for every touchdown he scores this season. He was at five majors before being placed on the injured list while teammate Justin McInnis pledged to donate in his place.
With two for McInnis so far and the Lion organization pledging to match those donations, that puts us over $2,000 with almost half of a season to play.
“The one game earlier this year (a win in Edmonton on July 29th), my ‘brother’ McInnis said he would chip in for my donations and that’s what he did. Once I get back, I’m going to take advantage of all of my opportunities, especially once we get into the playoffs,” said Rhymes.
The big receiver also encourages anyone reading or paying attention to do their part.
“Even just a ten-dollar donation can go a long way for a child,” he said.
“It can make their whole day or their whole week better.”
More On The BC Lions And World Vision
The BC Lions are proud to partner with World Vision Canada as our National Charity Partner. For Saturday’s game against Hamilton, we will celebrate the “superheroes” in our community and all over the world. World Vision works in over 100 countries as a global hero for children, helping families and communities in some of the world’s most dangerous places.
World Vision works alongside communities, supporters, partners and governments to change the way the world works for children, focusing on three specific areas: emergency relief, transformational development and promotion of justice.
Saturday’s game partnership will support World Vision’s Raw Hope program as all donations raised by Lions fans. Raw Hope is an initiative to help girls, boys and their families living in the world’s most dangerous places, enabling them to survive, recover and build a future. Because we believe every child should have a full life, no matter where they live. Generations to come are depending on us.
Earlier this May, World Vision partnered with the BC Lions to support the Play With The Pros program at Thompson Rivers University during Fan Fest. Over 120 children from the interior region participated in the clinic, which featured coaching from Dominique Rhymes, Vernon Adams Jr., and Lucky Whitehead.
World Vision Canada opened its first office in Toronto in 1957, this past off-season wide receiver Dominique Rhymes visited World Vision HQ this past April where he learned all about the Raw Hope program and met with World Vision Canada CEO, Michael Messenger.
Along with our player ambassador Dominique Rhymes, the BC Lions organization looks forward to working with World Vision staff around the world to bring awareness to some of the organization’s important programs and initiatives helping children living in the world’s most dangerous places.
Later this season, World Vision will join the 1st & Now Podcast to share more about the efforts of the World Vision organization and future plans to support more children around the globe.