Last week I wrote about an event that I attended that paired athletes with kids in the community and helped them shop for Christmas gifts for their families. All in all, it was a great event. I must say, however, that I probably wasn’t totally honest. I was definitely happy to help out and I felt it was a worthy cause, but I felt there was a bit of a disconnect with the child I was assigned to. For starters, she wanted to shop for expensive gifts. Now, the point of this whole event is to allow kids from the community who come from disadvantaged homes or may not have the opportunities to purchase gifts for their families the ability to do so. But when she wanted to buy blu-ray DVD’s for her dad and expensive games for Nintendo wii for her sister I was a little skeptical. In order to buy those DVD’s and games, one would assume you already have the proper equipment to play them on, right? Before she had finished with her immediate family she was trying to score herself a sweater for school. And the kicker was when she pulled out her Blackberry curve to show me she had the same phone as I did. Ok. I’m no genius but those Blackberry’s aren’t the free phones they hand out with a contract extension. Beyond that, she just seemed really bored and uninterested. I was starting to feel as if my own financial circumstances qualified me more for the shopping spree than the girl I was assigned.
So I was a bit skeptical when I went to a very similar event this week that paired athletes from the Training Center with foster kids from the community. Luckily I ended up feeling like I truly helped a young girl have a much more enjoyable holiday experience. These kids were encouraged to shop for themselves, namely for clothes that they probably really needed. Well this is right up my alley…I can shop for clothes all day long! My new friend Desiree was excited to find some jeans that fit, an outfit to wear to her school dance, and an awesome new Charger’s jersey (she’s a big fan of L.T.). I realize that none of these events are about me at all, but I was happy to leave this one feeling as if the holiday spirit was right where it was supposed to be.