I am a volunteer with PROTECT, and I post some of their social media material. It’s a group of people I’m proud to work with. But when fighting predators, it’s important to remember there are PROTECTORS out there, too. Here’s a story I was glad to share.
Jack Mook is an Army veteran and Pittsburgh police detective who works at Steel City boxing gym, a nonprofit that mentors children. Two of his young students, Jessee and Joshua, stopped showing up for training one day, and he learned how they were living: in foster care with relatives, without beds, suffering from fleas and rotting teeth because they didn’t even have toothbrushes.
In the boys’ own words:
“Coach, we have to sleep on the floor and there’s nothing but dog feces on the floor. I’m trying to sleep my life away. I go to sleep as early as possible so I can sleep until I have to go back to school.”
When their guardian had a run-in with police, Mook applied for an emergency order making him their foster parent, and later adopted them.
From the article: “The boys are thankful for their new life.
“I feel safe,” a quiet Jessee says.
“He gave us a childhood,” Joshua said. “I know we’re going to grow up to be good now.
“He’s still Coach, but we know he’s Dad, too. Most of all, he’s a savior. He’s my role model.”
“It means everything,” Mook, 45, told TODAY a week after cheers went up in court as a judge finalized the adoption. “I got two kids off the streets. It’s awesome.
“It’s a commitment for the rest of their life,” Mook added, “and it’s a good one.”