CHERRY HILL, N.J. (CBS) — The holiday season is a time for giving and the Philadelphia Eagles are making sure they are giving back to their community. On Monday night, two Birds players surprised some deserving children with a shopping spree and so much more.
One might think the defensive powers of Nigel Bradham and Derek Barnett could easily work to gather 20 kids for a group picture. Not so, because the kids and adults were in shock and were very excited.READ MORE: Mass COVID-19 Vaccination Center Opens Thursday In Philadelphia's Juniata Park
What the local kids knew was that the nonprofit Northern Children’s Services had a big evening planned for them at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Cherry Hill.
“A lot of these kids have gone through a lot of trauma in their lives — a lot of difficult things have happened,” said Kevin Weber, with Northern Children’s Services.
There was Chick-fil-A dinner and a chance to hang with the pros.
“A lot of these kids, I mean, don’t even have some of their parents so they don’t have the opportunity to be with their parents and opening gifts on Christmas Day,” Bradham said.
What the children soon found out though, is that there was another surprise.READ MORE: Flames Badly Damage Parkway Inn In Delaware County
“We brought in 20 kids and presented them each with $125 gift cards so they can shop and get some things on their Christmas list,” said Maria Potalivo, with Dick’s Sporting Goods.
So through the aisles of Dick’s Sporting Goods they went, rushing to try on shoes and hit the checkout line.
“I know what it’s like to be on both sides of the playing field,” said Calvin Johnson.
Johnson had five children participating in the event, three of whom he has adopted from the foster care system.
“Oh man, this means everything. This is what the Christmas season is about,” he said.
“We are fortunate, man, just to be able to do things like this because we were in these shoes at one point in time where we needed a little guidance and help throughout the holidays,” Bradham said.MORE NEWS: Fire Damages Rowhome In Philadelphia's Logan Neighborhood
The Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation also gifted Northern Children’s Services with a $5,000 donation.