LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. - Touchdowns From Heaven is a charity that donates footballs to kids in need in memory of a local high school football player.
18-year-old Cole Smith was killed in a wreck on Easter Valley Road in Limestone County on Thanksgiving Day in 2016.
"He loved football, he loved the lord and he loved his family," recalled Cole's mother, Missy Smith. Colton Wayne Smith, or Cole to his family and friends, was a football player at West Limestone High School.
"He never met a stranger, even as a little boy I would take him to town and he would talk to complete strangers," she remembered. "He was loved by a lot of people."
When Cole died on Thanksgiving last year, "That was one of the hardest things that my family has ever been through, still go through."
Cole's aunt had the idea for a charity to keep Cole's memory alive, Touchdowns From Heaven.
The footballs they deliver come with some of Cole's favorite Bible verses, and his jersey number, #27. That number is the same one his dad wore, and the one his little brother will wear when he gets to high school.
Cole's football coach, Jordan Cantrell says he was an outstanding player and an even better person. Cole was the life of the team.
"There are a lot of good memories on this field behind me here," said Coach Cantrell. "Those are special memories that we'll always keep in our hearts, we'll always watch on film, we'll always remember and talk about."
Cole's mother says Touchdowns From Heaven is a way to pass on Cole's passion for football. "When I look at Cole in his jersey it just brings back a lot of precious memories that I'll always hold dear. He was always excited on Fridays he would run out of the house and I'd be behind him snapping pictures."
Last year the charity donated over 300 footballs and is on track to donate even more this year. If you would like to donate to the program, or request a football go to the Touchdowns From Heaven Facebook page.