Giving Circle

2021 Giving Circle Grant Recipient: Fight For Life

The F.C. Tucker Giving Circle was established to give agents and staff the opportunity to pool their donations as a group, nominate worthy local philanthropic organizations for funding and then vote on which organizations to support. For 2021 funding, 33 incredible organizations applied and agents and staff selected nine to receive a combined $81,000 in grants.

Each month, we’ll feature one of the nine organizations to learn more about the amazing work they do in our communities. 

Getting to Know Fight For Life

What population of people and geographic area does your organization serve? 

Low-income students and families in Marion County on the Far Eastside and Westside of Indianapolis.

What is the story of your organization’s founding?

Fight for Life was founded in 2007 by former Indianapolis Colt Marlin Jackson, who named it for the many fights he knows vulnerable youth face: addicted or absent parents, neglect, abuse, moving from home to home and school to school, a lack of positive role models and support. FFLF was born from Jackson’s experience growing up the son of a drug addicted mother and wholly absent father. His fragile family moved often, and his childhood was filled with neglect and disjointed educational experiences. After elementary school, Jackson was taken in first by an aunt and uncle, later by a family friend, and then finally by his high school football coach.

Jackson founded FFLF in 2007, two years into his NFL career. Since retiring from the NFL, he has devoted himself to serving youth growing up with the same kinds of traumas he experienced.

What one thing most surprises people about your organization?

How comprehensive and systematic our strategy is and the fact that Founder and CEO Marlin Jackson manages the daily operations.

What are recipients of your services saying about your organization?

“Building Dreams has been an integral part of our School-Wide Positive Intervention and Behavior Supports,” said Joshua A. Halliwell, Charles W. Fairbanks Elementary School #105 Assistant Principal. “Our partnership with Fight for Life has allowed our students to take ownership of their behaviors and celebrate their accomplishments while engaging in meaningful social-emotional curriculum. During this virtual setting, Building Dreams has become even more important to allow for an all hands-on deck approach to ensure all students are supported while they are learning from home.”

If people want to volunteer with your organization, what is their next step?

Visit the Volunteer Opportunities section of our website:

Is there anything else you’d like readers to know?

Our work is directly addressing the root of societal problems. Through Social Emotional Learning, we are impacting Adverse Childhood Experiences and Social Determinants of Health.

For more information, please visit