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Oklahoma football: Josh Heupel's 14 Foundation helps families in need

The foundation will hold its annual holiday food drive before OU's home game against Baylor on Saturday. Fans can make cash donations at stadium gates.
by Jason Kersey Published: November 8, 2012

The holiday food drive is just one of the foundation's projects; the Christmas drive continues to provide kids with gifts, and the foundation also sponsors summer football camps.

“They're athletic based, but at the end of the day, it's really about trying to give kids the skill set to be successful in life,” Josh Heupel said of the camps. “You're talking about discipline, respect, trust and hard work. Most of the camps include an academic day, when we're inspiring kids in the math and science area. It's been a lot of fun.”

The 14 Foundation is unique, Dawn Heupel said, because it requires virtually no overhead costs.

“I volunteer, Josh's mom is a volunteer,” she said. “We don't have paid staff. Once in a while, we have printing costs. But we have virtually no administrative costs at all. All the money that goes into the foundation goes out to help families and kids. We've sort of intentionally kept it grass roots.

“We have lived here for almost 12 years, and so it feels like home to us. ... We have been so blessed, and it's such a good way to give back. Josh gets so busy this time of year that it's hard for him to do as much as he wants to, but he loves the food drive and he loves the Christmas drive, too. We are so thankful we get to do it every year.”

As a senior, Josh Heupel led OU to the 2000 national championship, won in a 13-2 Orange Bowl victory over Florida State. He was the Heisman runner-up that year, and became an OU graduate assistant in 2004.

Heupel joined Mike Stoops' staff at Arizona, coaching tight ends in 2005 before returning to Oklahoma, where he's been ever since.

Kent Bowles, who took over as local FCA director in 2004 and works closely with the 14 Foundation, said Josh Heupel's desire to help the community stems from the way he was raised.

“I think it's Josh carrying on the characteristics and the things that his parents instilled in him,” Bowles said. “They are great people, so they've spent their lives helping others, and I think Josh saw that.

“And he didn't want it to be a thing that happened while he played only. I think he fell in love with Oklahoma and the people of Oklahoma, and wanted to help.”