*Photo credit: TODAY News
Jack Mook was a 40-year-old bachelor when he first met Joshua and Jessee at his boxing gym. The Pittsburgh, PA police detective and Army veteran told TODAY News that he hadn’t given much thought to being a father, but knew these special boys deserved a family.
Mook (aka Coach) was Joshua’s trainer at
Steel City Boxing gym. When Joshua stopped showing up for daily workouts, Mook became concerned and went looking for him. It was then that Joshua opened up to Mook about the extreme poverty he and his brother were growing up in.
Eventually, the boys were placed in Mook’s care, and he immediately let officials know he was interested in adopting them. On September 16, a judge finalized their adoption.
Without the support of a family, Mook believes the boys would have ended up in juvenile detention or incarcerated. He hopes to instill the boys with the same structure and discipline he learned from his father. Today, Joshua (15) and Jessee (11) feel safe with Mook and are thankful for their new life.
“He’s still Coach, but we know he’s Dad, too. Most of all, he’s a savior. He’s my role model,” Joshua said.
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Anyone can be a hero to a child in need – whether you’re a relative, a neighbor, a teacher or a coach. Find out how to become a foster parent or adoptive parent today! Or, learn how you can support children and families by becoming an Everyday Hero.