Friday, December 9, 2011

Shop With A Jock

This past Tuesday, I participated in a program called Shop With a Jock, run by the Junior Seau Foundation. Junior Seau is a Hall of Famer for the San Diego Chargers and his foundation is constantly giving back. I jumped at the chance to help out with his latest event.

Shop With a Jock is an event where children from underprivileged families in the community are paired up with an athlete who help them shop for holiday gifts for their families. Along with Target who generously opens their doors, these children are given 100 dollars to spend on their loved ones. I just love the idea of this and couldn't wait to help!

As we arrived with a van full of athletes from the Olympic Training Center, we were greeted with loud music and a warm buffet. The pre-shopping events were being held in a huge tent in the Target parking lot. Immediately I could see all the kids dancing and running around with excitement. After getting a bite to eat, a few of us went over and showed off our moves as well! I must give a shout out here to Track and Field athlete Jerome Avery. He definitely turned some heads and got the crowds attention!

Soon after, we lined up with all the other athletes (many from the local colleges: San Diego State, UCSD, and USD)and got paired up with a child. I really wanted a little girl to take around and I was lucky enough to get my wish! MY little girls name was Amber and she was adorable!! She was very excited and was quite the little chatterbox. She really impressed me though. Not only was she a good spender, getting presents for all the people on her list (which was long!! 2 brothers, 2 sisters, mom and dad, and cousins!!) she saved enough money to buy dog food and cat food for the animal shelter. This amazed me and warmed my heart. This little 9 year old girl, who doesn't have a lot for herself or her family, wanted to use some of the money given to her (which she could have easily spent on herself) to give to the animal shelter and help animals in need. She definitely put a smile on my face for many reasons!

In the end, although I'm sure she was so happy to be able to hang out with an athlete for the evening, I felt very fortunate that I got to spend the evening with her. Even though I doubt she will ever read this, I want to wish her and her family a very Merry Christmas, and to let her know that she has inspired me.

I know at times my budget can be a little bit tight too, but there are always ways you can give back. Even if it is just your time and help, it never goes unappreciated.

No comments: