To kick off the Rams sixth annual Community Blitz days of service, the team partnered with Nickelodeon, to host a shopping spree at Walmart for more than 100 children (ages 5-14) served by The Salvation Army. The Rams rookie class, Rams Cheerleaders and front office staff paired with a child and to take them shopping to purchase up to $200 in holiday gifts, courtesy of the Rams.
Cornerback TJ Carter paired up with 5-year-old Dylan and instantly connected. Once they met, they created a Christmas list and immediately set out to shop. Dylan picked out a bunch of toys including a Black Panther mask, Jurassic Park dinosaurs, sunglasses and a Spiderman bike.
"Today meant a lot to me. We came out today and blessed a lot of kids," said Carter. "I made a list for Dylan and was able to get him everything that he wanted. Every time I get to come out and be around kids, I love it because I am missing time with my own back at home. It just felt great to be a blessing to these kids and put smiles on their faces."
Inside linebacker Jake Hummel shopped with 10-year-old Anthony whose main priority during shopping was to get household products for his family, other than toys for himself. On his Christmas list he wrote that he needed clothes, shampoo, body wash, and lastly toys. He was overwhelmed with joy to shop with Jake for the holidays.
"I haven't done something like this since high school, so it feels really good to get back out in the community and help kids directly," said Hummel. "Anthony is really smart and practical. His goal is to take care of his family first. Being here for these kids during the holiday season is pretty sweet."
After a 2-year hiatus due to covid, the annual Holiday shopping spree was back in full affect. The children were selected from LA Red Shield Community Centers in LA Metro, Inglewood, Pico Union, and South Central.
"Watching the kids go shopping with the players and their staff, and the smiles on the kids' faces is just a great feeling especially during this time of year," said Captain Sean Kelsey of the Salvation Army. "It was so important because over 100 children from the community centers that we work with are benefitting from today. We're here 365 days a year but during the Christmas season is when we really get to go out and do good for the community."
After the shopping spree, the Rams staff volunteers served meals to the youth. The children also had the opportunity to join Nickelodeon's Let's Draw! activity and meet characters SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star.
The Salvation Army operates more than 50 social service agencies strategically placed throughout Southern California, offering practical help for people without discrimination and standing up for those who are vulnerable. TSA runs thrift stores and boutiques where the proceeds support our Adult Rehabilitation Centers, operates shelters for the homeless, provides disaster relief and humanitarian aid around the world.
To learn more about the Rams' community efforts, please visit www.therams.com/community.