The Kansas City Chiefs' defensive line and cheerleaders helped spread holiday spirit Tuesday afternoon with the kids at Operation Breakthrough.
The excitement among the Chiefs and kids built throughout the afternoon as they moved from storytelling and crafts to milk and cookies.
"They look up to us, which is funny because I'm really just a kid like them," Chiefs' defensive lineman Chris Jones laughed. "Just to get to interact, have fun and be with them is important. It's a special time of the year."
And it's that holiday spirit that the linemen hoped every child would feel throughout the rest of the season.
"You want everybody to feel happy and loved this time of year," Chiefs' defensive lineman Rakeem Nunez-Roches said. "You always want to feel like that, but definitely around this time of year, so when you're able to give that it's definitely a good feeling."
The Kansas City Chiefs Community Caring Team, members of the defensive line, and cheerleaders visited with kids at Operation Breakthrough to spread holiday cheer.
Operation Breakthrough is an early learning center, which combines social services, education and health, serving over 450 kids each day with the intent of making sure every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential.
"We have a campaign going on right now, Big Dreams Bright Futures, and I think having the players here really exemplifies that for the kids," CEO of Operation Breakthrough Mary Esselman said. "They can see examples of when people work really hard towards a goal and also what happens when you see that goal achieved."
The Chiefs have made working with Operation Breakthrough a priority over the past several seasons, and the defensive line's efforts on Tuesday was another opportunity to do that.
"Last year we sent 90 percent of our kids ready for kindergarten," Esselman said. "We can only do that when we have organizations like the Chiefs backing us up."
And with some of the big personalities on the defensive line, it was easy to be a kid again during the holiday season bringing joy to those around them.
"We [the defensive line] all love being around each other," Nunez-Roches said. "So we gather up all of our love together, come out here and filter it on to the kids."
To learn more about Operation Breakthrough, click here.