In the wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT hat left 20 children and 6 adults dead, ache and grief still flow through our systems.
Thoughts, prayers, and moments of silence have been offered and held, respectively, from near and far not only to honor victims and their loved ones, but to help cultivate strength and stability in a cluttered and noisy world. Still, the tears continue to flow and the thought of healing seems so far off.
“Obviously that’s not something that brings joy to anybody’s life no matter if you’re directly affected or not. It’s the Christmas season,” Denver Broncos’ guard Zane Beadles said. “Me personally, I like to see smiles on people’s faces this time of year and really kind of feel the Christmas spirit.”
The Broncos did bring smiles to people’s faces on Tuesday night. A group of 16 players, including Beadles, took time out of their evening to participate in the fifth annual Shop with a Bronco event at a local Sports Authority. Partnering with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, 42 children from 14 branches were each given $195 to spend at Sports Authority (Sports Authority donated $120 gift cards while Ty Warren’s First & Goal Foundation provided an additional $75 per child).
“It always means a lot because kids don’t get to see the other side of football players with our helmets off, so it’s good for them to see that we have a heart too,” safety Mike Adams said. “That’s why I bring my daughter out to a lot of my events so she sees and she knows that it’s important to always give back.”
Smiling kids ran around Sports Authority picking out Broncos’ jerseys, footballs, basketball shoes, and other goods. Safety David Bruton even slapped on a pair of roller skates to keep up with his group of kids.
The children that were selected to shop with a Bronco were awarded the trip based on attendance, participation, and good grades in school.
“I was once their age, and unfortunately I didn’t have this opportunity,” second year safety Rahim Moore said. “I want my group to be able to say you know ‘I remember Rahim took me out and took me shopping, and it made my Christmas’ because I remember those days where I didn’t really have a Christmas so I want to make sure they have a good time.”
“Like people say, kids are our future,” Moore added. “All those kids up there in Connecticut, I pray for them.”
Moore is right. Kids are our future. As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. It takes a whole slew of people to pass down insight, information, praise, and good values to our youth in order to move toward a better world.
Just like a solid football team, everyone should be bringing their natural gifts to the table. It allows us to let go of the self-imposed strain to be everything to everyone. It takes the pressure off of doing it all, all the time.
As the Broncos took two hours of their time to open their hearts to Denver-area kids, I encourage you to do the same. A season of giving doesn’t have to begin and end at Christmas.