Caught in the System: Sean and Beth

Scoring a Touchdown for Kids

"Payton's Play it Forward is a way for my wife and I to give back to our community," says Sean Payton.

"We chose The Dr. Phil Foundation because of his passion for children," adds his wife, Beth.

"When Katrina hit, Dr. Phil was one of the first people down there," says Katie Hegner, executive director of the Play it Forward Foundation. "He always promised those people that he would be back. When they lost everything, it was the New Orleans Saints and Sean that gave those people hope. What better way to make a big impact than to have them partner?"

The Paytons hosted a Black & Gold Gala in the Superdome to honor Play it Forward beneficiaries.

[AD]After learning that his foundation is the beneficiary of $100,000 from Play it Forward, Dr. Phil says, "I want to tell you I don't look at it as being a beneficiary. I look at it as the beginning of a partnership. Every penny that we receive from you guys, we're going to build on with our millions of viewers, and we're going to bring it right back here to the children of New Orleans."

"For him to be here for an evening and to really have a true interest for the well-being of the children is significant."

"We raised over $500,000. Those are the kinds of moments that you have that you realize, ‘We can do this. We can make a difference,'" Beth says.

Sean and his wife, Beth, join Dr. Phil and Robin onstage.

"Tell me what really led you guys to do this Play it Forward," Dr. Phil says.

"We arrived in New Orleans in 2006 shortly after Katrina. Not being there just a year or two, we realized we needed an avenue, certainly with the position we were in. Many of our players have done the same thing," Sean replies. "With Karen Hegner, my wife, Beth, and myself, we found it necessary to come up with Payton's Play it Forward. In order to do it the right way, we wanted to kick it off with a gala that really generated some momentum."

[AD]Dr. Phil notes that the event was so successful, the Paytons had to stop selling tickets. "We ran out of the basic linens and china. We had to shut the doors down," Beth confirms. "But that was an unbelievable response for our first year out."

Dr. Phil turns to Karen Hegner in the audience. "You've watched this gel from concept to being a reality."

"We started in a little room at Harrah's with about five people. It got crazy. We ended up on the 50-yard line of the Superdome," she says.

Dr. Phil introduces Steve Davidson, president and CEO of The Dr. Phil Foundation. "Were you surprised at the huge turnout?" Dr. Phil asks.

"I was in one way. It's such a fabulous city, and this was such a unique opportunity to make a difference," Steve replies.

"What's the main focus that you guys want to see happen with all of this good work and good money that's coming to fruition?" Dr. Phil asks Sean.

"When we started the foundation, we felt that it had to deal with children, families or certainly social welfare, not only in New Orleans and Louisiana, but in the Gulf South," he responds. "Certainly, after Katrina, there was no better time to start that."


[AD]"I know how much time y'all have spent to create this foundation. I hope this is a model for every NFL franchise in the country. You guys are doing great work down there," Dr. Phil tells Sean and Beth. 

At the end of the show, Dr. Phil wants children in foster care to be aware that they have rights. "If you are a foster child, you have the right to several different things. Number one: to live in a safe, comfortable home with enough clothes, healthy food and your own place to store your things, to be treated with respect, to have a lawyer, to go to court and talk to the judge at any time," he says. 


Click here for a complete list.

Below are several children's organizations that were recipients of the grant from The Dr. Phil Foundation " all made possible by the vision of Coach Payton and his wife, Beth.


Click here to watch the beneficiaries message to Dr. Phil.

Hope House

New Orleans Ballet Association (NOBA)
"We believe in the power of the arts to make a difference in lives. In addition to teaching children the technical skills of dance, dance and the arts also teach discipline, focus, work ethic," says Jenny Hamilton of NOBA.

Youth Empowerment Project
"It's called community-based mentoring program. I do school checks with them. I have an anger management class on Tuesdays. I have tutoring on Wednesdays. I really see the work I do as helping these kids," says Rennell Gibbs. 

[AD]Youth Service Bureau
"Many good kids make bad decisions. They need a second chance," says Tom Cain. "They're taught respect for authority, how to deal with real-life situations, and they're taught how to make good decisions that will help them in their future."

Young Aspirations Young Artists (YAYA)
"Dr. Phil, thank you for bringing our young people to L.A., and for your contribution to Paint the World," says Baty Landis. "Thank you for caring about the young people in New Orleans and about our culture."