Thompson family | Courtney Photo

Cal Poly football coach Aristotle Thompson and his family are raising money for Jack’s Helping Hand, a local non-profit that provides assistance and support for children with cancer and special needs. Thompson’s two eldest sons, Brock and Bryson, are raising money for the non-profit by collecting signed NFL football helmets.

The two young boys decided that they wanted to do something special to give back to an organization that has helped their family.

Thompson’s 6-year-old son Bryson was diagnosed with epilepsy two years ago and he experiences seizures daily. Bryson’s condition ranges from drop seizures, in which he suddenly loses muscle tone, to “grand mal” seizures in which he fully loses consciousness and collapses. Worried about their son’s safety, Thompson and his wife, Sarah, sought out an epilepsy helmet. When their insurance company deemed the helmet as “not medically necessary,” Jack’s Helping Hand thought differently.

Jack’s Helping Hand bought Bryson a protective epilepsy helmet. Grateful for their support, Bryson and his older brother Brock came up with an idea while sitting around the dinner table to collect signed NFL helmets, jerseys and footballs and call the fundraiser “Helmets for Helmets.” They will be donating the items to Jack’s Helping Hand where they will be auctioned off at their barbecue in July. This annual event raises money so Jack’s Helping Hand can continue helping families. 

To get the news out, Brock and Bryson recorded a video asking for donations. They sent the video to the family’s NFL connections through the boys’ grandfather, Stan Brock, who played in the NFL for 16 years with the New Orleans Saints and the San Diego Chargers. The video has spread rapidly within the football community and the boys are expecting to receive 20 helmets. 

“I couldn’t be more proud as a parent,” Sarah Thompson said. “To see Brock and Bryson sit down and take their time thinking about how they were going to ask these players for help and keeping their focus on helping these families with sick or special needs kids is just quite amazing. I get emotional every time I think about it.”

The teams that have agreed to send helmets include the Oakland Raiders, the New Orleans Saints, the New England Patriots, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Los Angeles Rams and the Carolina Panthers. Retired NFL players Drew Bledsoe from the Patriots and Joey Harrington from the Lions have also offered to send helmets.

For more information, contact Karen Borges, executive director of Jack’s Helping Hand, at (805) 547-1914 or

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