Is Pittsburgh, one man's Bedford Falls? Reminiscent of the movie, "Its A Wonderful Life"-About One Life that touches many!
This is the heartwarming story of Detective Jack Mook, former Veteran with the 82nd Paratrooper Division who served in Desert Storm, and 22 Years with Pittsburgh PD. His outlet for the last ten years has been volunteering at Steel City Boxing to help make a difference.
After hearing this story on multiple news stations, CBS, The Meredith Vieira Show, and The Glenn Beck Program. Jack Mook very much reminded me for the beloved Jimmy Stewart in my favorite holiday movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life” about the difference one man who cares, who tries, makes a world of difference, and how that world is forever changed for the better.
Detective Jack Mook, Pittsburgh, PA
www.steelcityboxing.org An outstanding boxing club dedicated to helping kids inside and outside of the ring! The brotherhood and camaraderie are what makes this gym an amazing place.
Coach Mook, met the boys about 6 years ago, the youngest Jessie was about 4 years old at the time.Coach Mook, as well as the other stellar Coaches at the gym would take Josh out for dinner to ensure he was getting a meal to eat. They knew the poverty in which the boys lived.They also collected money at Christmas to make sure the boys had presents.
Josh and Jessee the two youngest of four children were born to loving parents who were struggling with addiction issues and lived in extreme poverty.The boys lived with their parents in bad areas of town were drugs were rampant, and they sometimes lived in vans and campers. The parents had drug problems and couldn’t take care of themselves or the kids, and lost custody of the boys. The boys went to live with their grandmother, but the poor lady was diagnosed with Cancer after they had only been there for two months. She passed away in August of 2012. That’s when Josh and Jessee situation completed spiraled as they were then sent to live with their Aunt and Uncle.
In December of 2012, Jack finally located Josh after an absence of the boys for three months from their favorite boxing gym. Jack immediately notice that Josh's cheeks were sunken in, ribs showing, covered in fleas bites, and a rash on the back of his head. When Jack asked about what was going on, Josh broke down crying reporting to Coach how their situation had spiraled into severe abuse and neglect.
During those months, the boys slept on the floor that was covered in dog feces, or on the sectional of a sofa together. At that point the boys hadn’t had a bed of their own in six years. They were made to clean up the dog feces with their toothbrushes. They were refused new toothbrushes. Their clothes were filthy and covered in fleas. Josh reported the Aunt and Uncle took little Jessee upstairs once and beat him up.
Jack started taking action to become their Foster Parent shortly after that via an Emergency order he obtained.He had to take the boys within a couple weeks to the dentist since the kids were denied toothbrushes. Little Jessee had to have 5 teeth pulled that were rotted and Josh had 8 cavities. Plus he had to take them to the doctor about their skin conditions that were caused by the filth and stress that the boys were dealing with. Jack reported it was hard to see them get put through further pain at the Dentist and Doctor, but it had to be done and was part of the healing and getting healthy process.
Jack Mook then about a year and a half later he adopted the boys with their mothers blessing in September of 2014. The boys, with Jack’s tremendous new parenting efforts are enrolled in Catholic School and getting excellent grades, attending counseling, and winning the Golden Gloves respectively. The boys are now, 15 and 11, they have a childhood once again, and they now feel safe.
Jack Mook, aka to me is George Bailey. A man who kept his compassion and took massive action and now it has become, “A Wonderful Life” not just for him, but for the boys as well. This indeed might be the best thing to ever come out of Steel City Boxing. But all those Coaches and volunteers at that gym working everyday to make Pittsburgh a bit more like the ideal town of Bedford Falls. Kudos!
Jessee Mook getting help with his homework from Jack at the kitchen table.
"I'm very happy," Jessee said. "His house is clean, he has great rules, and I know he's going to make me a better man in life." His brother said, "He gave us a childhood I know we're going to grow up to be good now. He's a savior."
*Jack, Josh and Jessee Mook, were treated to a great game at the Pittsburgh Penguins game! How fantastic and well deserved!
Meanwhile, the boys refer to Jack, as Coach. They maintain a relationship with their biological parents—something Mook wanted for them. But their adoptive father figure is a street tough Detective who moonlights as a Boxing Trainer, with a heart three sizes too big.
**This newly formed family was also featured on Thankful Thursdays on Good Morning America & here is a clip from the Meredith Vieira Show
Their sole purpose in sharing their story and speaking to news and media outlets is to bring awareness to children living in severe neglect and poverty. They want to encourage people to become Foster parents, and help a young boy or girl out.
**Asking for prayers for Jessee Mook who has been recent diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome. Josh has set a goal to apply to West Point Military Academy. Keep this sweet family in your prayers and consider donating to the gym that made this all happen! http://www.steelcityboxing.org/donate/
I've donated to Steel City Boxing, and I hope you will consider it too! Kind Regards, Amy Amidei CEO of The Bombshell Tribe Where there is kindness there is goodness, and where there is goodness there is magic!