LONE TREE, Colo. -- The holiday spirit was alive and well on Monday night as Denver Broncos players
The children were selected by the Boys & Girls Clubs for their outstanding participation in their after-school program. They had prepared detailed shopping lists of items to purchase, and were allowed a generous budget to find gifts to bring cheer to as many family members as possible this holiday season.
Lists in hand and smiles on their faces, the kids lined up their carts and set out with Decker, Thomas, teammate
Decker and two young shoppers made their first stop in the toy department, looking over the array of Nerf guns and Lego sets, very popular for the boys on their lists. Eric helped the boys sort out which items fit together before it was time to move onto taking care of other family members.
Thomas and his troops covered a lot of ground throughout the store and assessed the scene before their carts began to fill up. First up was a plush, pink bath robe and centerpiece with candles for mom, followed by a collection of Hot Wheels cars for a nephew.
"I'm happy that I can actually buy my family presents," remarked one young shopper. "My Mom is going to be happy and my brother, he usually doesn't get anything for Christmas from me. It's just heartwarming ... there's no way to explain it."
Beadles joined his fellow rookie teammates and shared his wisdom on everything from clothing to toys for the kids.
As the children reached their budget limit and made sure they had covered everyone on their list, they moved to the gift-wrapping stage. Decker, Thomas and Beadles also proved to be quite capable in that arena. They stayed until the last packages were wrapped and then bid farewell to their new friends and fellow shoppers.
Each was extremely generous with his time and helped make a special night even more meaningful for the children, who spoke of their appreciation.
"It's really nice of them," said one child. "They're helping you and walking you all around the store, helping you find things for your family, just having fun."
Several others spoke of the joy it gave them to be able to have gifts for the other members of their families, who often might not receive a gift at all. They were lasting impressions that will make an impact not only on the children, but on their new football-playing friends as well.
Special thanks to the Target corporation and the Lone Tree, Colo., store for being such a terrific partner in this program.