INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Colts Head Coach Frank Reich and General Manager Chris Ballard’s best teammates don’t sit around and wait for Sundays.
No, I am not alluding to three-time all-pro Quenton Nelson squatting Mini Coopers in the middle of the scorching summer heat, or Darius Leonard waking up at 4 a.m. to put in a three-hour offseason workout before sunrise.
This teammate finds time when there is none, lends advice to complete strangers, and shines a light on issues in our society often deemed too tough to take on. And, that is all accounted for under the full-time job description summarized as mom.
What is in store at the Ballard house this Mother’s Day?
Just ask one of the five Ballard kids to recite the schedule on the fridge.
Now, where is the coffee maker hiding?
“Soccer games and baseball games,” Kristin Ballard said. “The Uber driver will be going. Except, I don’t get paid. I get paid with love.”
“I have to say Kristin (Ballard), I am really happy we are beyond those days,” Linda Reich joked. “I am about hugging grandbabies (on Mother’s Day), right now.”
Kristin Ballard and Linda Reich are connected by football.
The Ballard’s arriving in Indianapolis in 2017 from Kansas City, the Reich’s heading in from Philadelphia early in 2018.
The bond between the two? Children in need.
As the roars return to Lucas Oil Stadium this upcoming season, Ballard and Reich are busy searching for kids in Central Indiana who need to hear the vital cheers that give us all a chance in life.
It’s events like the recent scene in Fairmount, Indiana, supporting #TeamChesneyStrong, that leave everyone speechless.
“It was almost like; we left the Super Bowl,” Reich said. “No joke, we won the Super Bowl, we left the Super Bowl, we are driving home in the car, and we are just rehearsing how incredibly amazing it was.”
The Reichs’ Knot Today Foundation is a growing force against the evils of child sexual abuse, exploitation, and trafficking. Linda serves as president, Frank as vice president, and together they opened their headquarters in Indianapolis this past October.
Around the Ballard family, advocacy for foster care and adoption services across Indiana continues.
This crusade comes straight from the heart as Kristin and Chris in 2010 began the foster care and eventual adoption of two of their own children.
Together, this year, Ballard and Reich understand nearly every mom is in a tough spot.
“With the pandemic, these kids are going through so much,” Ballard said. “It is hard for these kids, and the parents, especially the mothers, who deal with these kids and deal with all of their feelings. It is great to know that we are able to be here for them…Knowing that we are doing the right things and we can be role models to other people. That makes a huge difference.”
This Sunday, flowers are always a perfect gift.
But, for Ballard and Reich, a message from those on the receiving end of their blessings this past year arrives on this Mother’s Day.
“Kristin, it starts at home for you, I know that you have poured so much time, effort, and love,” Hands of Hope Adoption and Orphan Care Ministry Executive Director Suzy Roth said.
“Linda, I have come to love you,” Fairmount, Indiana, resident Tamee Shonk said. “Just the little bit that we have been together, and what you did for us, is out of this world.”
“You are considered part of our family now.”
There is no substitute for this effort, no opponent that can stop this game plan.
Linda Reich and Kristin Ballard are here to make Indianapolis a better place.