The Kansas City Chiefs had time some off from practice early this week, but their efforts in the community were in full swing as several different players were scattered throughout the metro dedicating their time towards a variety of causes.
One of those players was wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who visited with patients at a local children’s hospital on Monday morning.
“I’m just here to lift their spirits and to be a role model in the community as much as I can,” Hill said. “When I meet these kiddos and they’re saying my name, it’s just amazing for me. It’s always been a dream of mine to be someone’s role model, so I’m happy and very blessed to be here.”
Hill went room-to-room surprising patients, from toddlers to adolescents, with a visit and an autographed football. Going above and beyond to help kids in need has been a priority for the second year wide receiver throughout his time in Kansas City.
“I have people in my family who deal with disabilities and it means a lot to me just to give back,” Hill explained. “People look at them and think about them differently, so I feel like when we come in and sit with them and lift their spirits, it means a lot. It’s definitely a big confidence booster for them.”
Making a difference elsewhere was rookie tailback Kareem Hunt, who surprised a group of young athletes each with $125 gift cards to Dick’s Sporting Goods. Hunt then spent the rest of the afternoon shopping and hanging out with the kids.
“It means a lot to put a smile on these kids’ faces, especially around Christmas time,” Hunt said. “To make an impact in their lives with things like this really humbles me and puts a smile on my face, too.”
It gave the kids, who represented The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kansas City, the Great American Basketball League and Johnson County 3&2 Baseball, a chance to celebrate the holidays with some athletic gear that they may not have been able to afford otherwise.
And for Hunt, it was an opportunity to give back to aspiring athletes – something he knows a thing or two about.
“It feels like I was just in their shoes playing peewee football and wanting to meet NFL players,” Hunt said. “It’s awesome to be around kids like this because I was them back in the day.”
A handful of Hunt’s teammates also devoted their time to kids in need on Monday, though in unfamiliar fashion.
Led by wide receiver Albert Wilson, a contingent of tailback Charcandrick West, wide receiver Chris Conley, safety Ron Parker, offensive lineman Cam Erving, linebacker Terrance Smith and tight end Orson Charles all waited on tables at Urban Table in Prairie Village, with proceeds benefiting Wilson’s foundation.
“Urban Table gave me an opportunity to shine a little light on my foundation tonight,” Wilson said. “I haven’t had the chance to do that here yet, so tonight I’m bringing the Albert Wilson Foundation to Kansas City.”
The players brought guests to their tables, took orders and even delivered food.
“It’s always good to come out and support a good cause like this with a bunch of great guys,” West said. “It’s easy to have fun with the guys while doing good things for good people.”
And the fact that so many of his teammates showed up to help went a long way with Wilson.
“My foundation is a passion of mine outside of football, and we preach family in the locker room,” Wilson said. “For my teammates to come support me on their off day, it definitely means a lot to me.”
Another large group of Chiefs were busy making an impact just a day later, as punter Dustin Colquitt led a gathering of 15 players to assist with a FOX 4 “Love Fund for Children” shopping spree on Tuesday night.
Sixty children attended the event, each receiving $100 to spend and a chance to shop with the players.
“Love Fund puts this on and it’s just fun coming out here and seeing these kids every year and kind of making their day,” Colquitt said. “Christmas can be a joyous but also a very lonely time here for a lot of people, so we’re just excited to get out here with the kids again and give them the Christmas they deserve.”
Each event was just another example of the Chiefs’ ongoing dedication to bettering the lives of those that could use the help.
“This is a very close-knit, Midwestern town and it’s important that everybody is remembered not only over the holidays, but all year round,” Colquitt said. “They always pull for us, so it’s important for us to be out here showing them that we love their support, we love them and we’re wishing them a Merry Christmas.”