When Matt Barkley isn’t throwing touchdown passes and putting in work on the gridiron for Trojan Nation, he spends his time helping those who cannot help themselves. His family’s work in places like Nigeria and South Africa have been well-documented throughout his time at SC; it’s rare that we see stud athletes give just for the joy of giving, let alone one as prominent and prolific as Matt Barkley. But year after year—starting before he even got to USC—his family goes on mission trips to the forgotten places of the world, building homes and providing much-needed supplies to the people living there.
This summer, the Barkleys will travel to Haiti to do work in areas that were—and still are—devastated by the 2010 7.0 earthquake that ripped through the capital city of Port-au-Prince, and this time they are bringing some extra hands.
Fifteen pairs of extra hands, to be exact.
According to USC, in the week after graduation (May 14-19), Barkley and 15 other Trojans are going to Haiti to build at least three homes, and to transport more than 2,000 lbs. of supplies for orphanages and schools. They will be working with Hope Force International, an organization known for its work in disaster relief.
The Barkley family extended the opportunity for more athletes to join them when many expressed an interest in the cause.
“This is something that I’ve talked about with Matt [Barkley] since I was a freshman,” said Devon Kennard. “I just wanted the opportunity to serve people in need alongside my closest friends. It’s going to be a blessing to the Haitian people, but this experience will be just as valuable for us.”
The complete list of Trojans going to Haiti includes fellow team captain T.J. McDonald, Robert Woods, Khaled Holmes, Nickell Robey, Devon Kennard, Kyle Negrete, Hayes Pullard, early-enrollee Scott Starr, transfer Josh Shaw, Cyrus Hobbi, Kevin Green, Max Wittek, Cody Kessler and Luke Freeman. Punter Kyle Negrete joined the Barkleys in 2010 on their trip t Nigeria, but for many of these guys, this will be their first time ever leaving the country or doing a project of this magnitude.
“It’s just an opportunity for them—and for me—to see a part of the world we haven’t seen and plight and people that have nothing,” Matt Barkley said of the impending trip. “It’ll be good for us to see that. It gives us perspective.”
The student-athletes are allowed to receive financial assistance for this trip, so if you would like to help the cause, go to this site to give to the Hope Force International’s USC Deployment Project.