34 lucky 7th and 8th graders from Generation Jets Academy in Brooklyn ran through the aisles of Dick's Sporting Goods last Tuesday with New York Jets players in tow to help them spend $100 gift cards.
The kids and the Jets were there courtesy of Dick's Sporting Goods "Shop for a Jock" Program which gives kids from disadvantaged communities the opportunity to buy gifts for themselves and their families that they would otherwise be unable to afford.
And, though each of the six players had his hands full, Safety Erik Coleman and Wide Receiver Justin McCareins had particularly memorable experiences with groups comprised solely of girls. Instead of offering advice about the latest sneakers or sporting goods, they lent their keen fashion sense to the young ladies who were partial to pink Puma sweatsuits.
But, real men like pink too. Just ask one of the shoppers who spent the afternoon with Justin Miller. "I got a pink and white basketball because true men are not afraid to wear pink," he said.
Another shopper resisted the urge to spend all of the money on himself. "I got a lot of things I wanted, but not too much because I had to get things for my cousins," said the boy who spent the evening with Leon Washington
"Being involved in the communities in which we do business and especially with the kids in those communities is a fundamental part of who we are as a company. Through our partnership with the Jets, we are proud to once again host this great community event," said Jeffrey R. Hennion, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer.
"We are grateful for the collaborative effort between the Jets and Dick's Sporting Goods for coming together with this major community effort and we really appreciate being here, "said Larry Yancy of Generation Jets Academy
From clothes and ice skates to skateboards and boxing gear, everyone left with something special. But, by the end of the shopping spree, it was hard to tell whether the kids or players were having more fun. Justin Miller, Chris Baker, Erik Coleman, Leon Washington and Rashad Washington continued to shoot hoops and check out the merchandise as the kids said goodbye to their new friends and shopping partners.
Tonight, Drew Coleman, Cedric Houston, Sione Pouha and Eric Smith will join another 21 kids at Health Plus' Toys R Us Shopping Spree for Kids in the Bronx.