By Kelly Werthmann
LONE TREE, Colo. (CBS4) – Some of the top Denver Broncos players put down their helmets and picked up a shopping cart Monday evening to help a special group of kids go Christmas shopping.
“Just to do something like this is a blessing,” Broncos safety Will Parks said.
It’s a long time tradition for the team, which partners with the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. This year, Parks led the way at the Super Target in Lone Tree.
“Just to give back and create happiness for others,” Parks said. “It’s always a good thing.”
Twenty-five lucky kids were given a $200 gift card to buy gifts for their families.
“I got hoop earrings for my mom,” 10-year-old Nautika Jones explained with a big smile. “And then some toys for my sister. I got my dog two sweaters because she likes to wear our clothes.”
It isn’t a crazy shopping spree, rather a reward for their good grades and outstanding participation in the after school program.
“I do the best that I can with helping other students, like the new kids that don’t know a lot of people,” Jones told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann. “And I really like to help in the art room, too.”
Jones said she was thrilled to find out she’d be shopping with some of the Broncos. She was even more thrilled when her favorite player showed up to help.
“Is your last name Wolfe?” Jones asked when the tall, defensive end walked in.
“Yes,” Derek Wolfe replied with a laugh.
“That’s my favorite animal!” Jones said.
Wolfe joined Nautika as she weaved through the aisles with Parks. The defensive end said he is happy to help his team on and off the field.
“We’re a team. We’re a family,” he said. “The community is part of our family, so I think it’s important for us to give back together.”
Among the many players helping kids shop were Brandon Marshall, Domata Peko, Justin Simmons, Garett Bolles, Von Miller and Brandon McManus. They each helped the young shoppers find the perfect gifts for their families, and the joy of the holiday season shined bright in each of the kids’ smiles.
“When you make somebody smile, it goes a long way,” Parks said. “They remember that forever.”
Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team as the morning reporter in 2012. After serving as weekend morning anchor, Kelly is now Covering Colorado First for CBS4 News at 10. Connect with Kelly on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @KellyCBS4.