In partnership with American Red Cross, Los Angeles Rams players, cheerleaders, and staff members visited three elementary schools to help students personalize holiday cards of thanks for our veterans and military members.
In light of Veteran's Day and last weekend's Salute to Service game, Los Angeles Rams players, cheerleaders and staff members took time out of the office on Tuesday, November 7, to visit three local elementary schools to help students personalize Rams-branded holiday cards of thanks for our veterans and military members.
The "Holidays for Heroes" campaign is an initiative that the Rams have been doing for several years. When the team returned home to Los Angeles, the Rams approached the local American Red Cross with their interest of bringing the holiday military appreciation effort to L.A. They loved the idea and this year Mariposa School of Global Education in Agoura Hills, Oak Street Elementary in Inglewood, and Grape Street Elementary in Watts each had a group of Rams players visit students in class to engage youth in acknowledging our service men and women and the sacrifices they make. The Rams supplied holiday cards that featured starting defensive tackle Michael Brockers, with a message inside that read: "Our defense defends our goal line. Our military defends our country. Thank you for your service."
Brockers volunteered to play a lead role in the 'Holidays for Heroes' campaign this season after being involved in the effort for several years. Given the sacrifices made by service members all year round, he thought it was important to take the time to discuss the importance of their dedication to service and the extents to which they sacrifice for our freedoms, especially over the holidays.
"We have troops that sacrifice every day for us to live the life we live and go to school freely," said Brockers. "To have the kids understand that, but also to have them understand it's the holidays and the troops don't get to see their family and friends over the holidays. As long as we can shine light on that, help the kids have a good day, and show them a good role model, I think we'll be doing a good job."
The star defensive lineman also was honored to know that it would be his face service men and women will see upon receiving their tokens of gratitude and appreciation.
"I'm honored. This year my face is the big one on the card," said Brockers. "It's fresh, it's new. It's an honor to be on there and to do this for the troops and to do this with the elementary school."
The appearance of Rams players in support of our Veterans and active service members left an imprint on Eli Rosenfeld, a 6th grader from Mariposa. After completing his card of thanks with the assistance of Brockers crouched down at his desk, Rosenfeld was awestruck. The young Rams fan was excited to share his message to vets and service members, and announce that he not only met a Rams player, but worked closely with one.
"This experience is really cool to me because I've always really liked football and the Rams and now I'm getting to meet a player," said Rosenfeld. "In my card with Michael, I told the veterans that we all pray for their safety and that they're true American Heroes."
As the Principal of Mariposa School of Education, Leslie Martinez believes it's crucial for her students to understand the power of giving. She believes her students were even more inspired and engaged in the week's honorary initiatives with the Rams' presence on campus, given her students' excitement had been accruing as the team's visit was the talk-of-the-campus leading up to Tuesday.
"We really value kids doing things for others. So we jumped right on board with this to engage our kids. The kids were so excited once they found out. It's been all the buzz all week with kids asking 'When are the Rams coming?' We're really excited to have them here. "
Bill Walrath, a Board member for the LA region Red Cross, is proud of his organization's continued commitment to supporting our military, and doing so in solidarity with the Rams. With the players involved, Walrath believes the Rams and Red Cross provided a unique experience for the students, and one that he hopes leads to continued support of the country's military for the future generations to come.
"The Red Cross and LA Rams are here today to support our military. The Red Cross has supported the military for over 130 years. Our founder was a teacher, which is great that we're at a school here today and it's a great opportunity for the players to inspire our kids to understand how important it is to support our military during the holidays, let them know that we're thinking about them and that everything they do is very much appreciated." For more information on the Rams' Salute to Service initiatives, please click here. If you would to know more about Red Cross' 'Holidays for Heroes' campaign, please visit their website here.