How Your Favorite NFL Teams Are Giving Back At Thanksgiving
They're feeding peoples' stomachs with food, and their hearts with holiday cheer.
The Atlanta Falcons teamed up with the Publix grocery store chain to provide 800 Thanksgiving meals to underprivileged families, handing out the food to families at the Georgia World Congress Center. "People see us as football players. That's all they see. But really there's a lot more to us," Falcons offensive guard Jamon Brown told Fox5 Atlanta. The Falcons make hunger relief a focus of the team's outreach efforts every November.
Chicago Bears defensive lineman Akiem Hicks continued his tradition of serving up an early Thanksgiving feast, this year at the Louis L. Valentine Boys and Girls Club on Chicago's South Side. "It's getting a chance to give back and also an area I'm strong in, I love working with kids," Hicks told CBS Chicago . "It's really a positive experience for myself and them."
(Images: Boys & Girls Club of Chicago Facebook page )
It's the 16th year the Dallas Cowboys have fed residents at Salvation Army centers in the region. "It means a lot to come out here every year and be with the fans and give back to the community," running back Ezekiel Elliott told the Star Telegram . "It's very special coming here." While the veterans were in Dallas, the team's Rookie Club teamed up with rookie members of the Cowboys Cheerleaders to serve a meal at the Salvation Army's Mabee Social Service Center in Fort Worth. The team served about 500 people at both centers.
The Steelers Maurkice Pouncey talks to reporters.Melissa Murray Twitter
The Pittsburgh Steelers partnered once again with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank to donate Thanksgiving meals to 200 families in need. Team captain Cam Heyward and the offensive line, led by center Maurkice Pouncey, manned the distribution tables. "This is awesome, to be able to give back like this during Thanksgiving time, it truly means something to me," Pouncey told KDKA-TV about the annual event. Here's some video of the guys in action:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrated their 13th annual Turkey Time With the O-Line giveaway. Members of the offensive line and the coaches donated $36,500 to help provide turkeys to 1,000 needy families, who also got grocery bags full of donated fixings. The players loaded the food into the parade of cars that passed through the AdventHealth Training Center parking lots. "To me, the beauty I see in it is that it gets more joyful every year," right tackle Demar Dotson told buccaneers.com.
Titans cornerback Tye Smith provided Thanksgiving lunch to students at Buena Vista Elementary in Nashville. "I take away more than I feel like they take away," Smith told WKRN. "When you're a kid, you're just filled with so much joy and emotion, and you come and you have a football player at your school you're like, 'oh my god its a football player!' But, I just want them to see I'm a regular person, that they can talk to me and sit down with me it just means a lot."
"I take away more than I feel like they take away." Tennessee Titan Tye Smith
We know the families that got turkey dinners were thankful for the holiday meals, and for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet their heros!
You don't have to be a pro football player to make sure everyone in your community has something to eat -- on holidays and every day. Why not get involved with your neighborhood food bank or food pantry (click here to find one near you) and join Sparkt to #StartSomethingGood!