NFL Players are working with Octagon Football to host holiday charity events from coast to coast, as Octagon has coordinated over 13 holiday events this season, ranging from turkey drives, to toy drives to Thanksgiving dinners and holiday shopping sprees. Over 4,000 people benefit from their holiday events each year.
“It’s incredibly important for us to provide opportunities for our clients to give back to their communities,” said Director of PR and Events for Octagon Football Rebecca Otto. “Our clients really enjoy interacting with the families and kids, and the fans, so it becomes very special to them to be able to make a difference in these people’s lives, especially around the holidays.”
“This was my first year to participate in their shopping spree event,” said Falcons’ linebacker Stephen Nicholas, who participated in a Toys-for-Tots event in Atlanta earlier this month. “It was such a special night, and the kids had an incredible time. One kid was crying because he couldn’t believe he was getting a bike. That is the whole reason we do these events. I’m grateful for the opportunity to give back.”
Back East, Giants Justin Tuck, Michael Boley, Prince Amukamara, and Dave Tollefson participated in at toy and book drive in cooperation with Tuck’s Rush for Literacy campaign.
Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain hosted his second annual 53 Families Dinner in partnership with The Salvation Army and Macy’s. The event is named for his jersey number, and the number of families they feed every year. “We just select 53 families that we’re going to serve Thanksgiving dinner, with the combination of the Salvation Army, Macy’s and so many other people that donate and give their time,” McClain explained. “It’s a great event. There are so many kids there with so many smiles on their faces. That’s why it’s my favorite event every year, by far.
Other NFL Players involved in these events include Falcons Ray Edwards, Stephen Nicholas, Thomas DeCoud and Dominique Franks, Bengals Leon Hall and Brandon Ghee, Panthers Charles Godfrey and Sione Fua, Lions Brandon Pettigrew, Bears Earl Bennett, Steelers LaMarr Woodley and Ziggy Hood, Redskins OJ Atogwe and Ryan Torain and more.
The full list of events is included below:
Marshawn Lynch’s Fam 1st Family Foundation Turkey Drive
Earl Bennett’s Thanksgiving Giveaway
Jameel McClain’s 53 Families Thanksgiving Dinner
Stephen Nicholas’ Thanksgiving Dinner
Seahawks Players Toy Drive
Giants Players Toy Drive
Steelers Players Toy Drive
Redskins Players Toy Drive
Bengals Players Toys for Tots Shopping Spree
Falcons Players Toys for Tots Shopping Spree
Lions Players Toys for Tots Shopping Spree
Panthers Toys for Tots Shopping Spree
Earl Bennett’s Holiday Night of Fun