Christmas came early Monday for a group of about 60 kids from UMOM and the Right Track Afterschool Program. Calais Campbell of the Arizona Cardinals held his annual “Christmas with Calais” event at Target and treated the kids to a holiday feast (provided by Boston Market) before their shopping spree. Cardinals mascot Big Red joined in the festivities by giving Hi-Fives and taking photos which included a number of “selfies”, but even he wasn’t the center of attention. Santa Clause made sure to spread his holiday spirit by leading the way in several Christmas Carols while passing out some tasty treats to those in attendance.
You could feel the excitement building up as dinner ended and can even overhear whispers of some items on their Christmas wish list. As the kids started to wind down, in walks in Campbell with some of his teammates to help spread a little Christmas cheer. Some of those who came to support this great cause were Patrick Peterson, Jaron Brown, Marcus Bernard, Jonathan Cooper, Dan Williams and Alex Okafor. Each player had a group of about 4-5 kids to help shop and pick out some cool toys. Cooper was lead to the bikes while Jaron was taken straight to the Leggos isle. Everything from iPods to Frozen dolls were flying off the shelves, Campbell took it upon his self to even help a little girl pick up some new sparkly shoes for the holidays.
Although the night had a slight chill you couldn’t ignore the warmth that each kid felt. Nothing but laughter, smiles and joy filled the entire store and it quickly spread like a wild fire. Local shoppers couldn’t help but smile after seeing the priceless faces from each and every kid. Witnessing first-hand the love that Calais has for these kids is remarkable. He’s a monster on the field but a teddy bear inside, he’s everything in what a role model should be.
Christmas is a time for giving and the CRC Foundation never disappoints! It reminds us all that the simplest gesture of giving to those in need will give us something more gratifying in return and that’s the satisfaction that we made a difference.
While looking in the room you couldn’t help but smile and appreciate what the CRC Foundation does for the community.
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