FOXBORO -- The New England Patriots hold a lot of events to give back to the community. But Tuesday night's annual shopping spree is easily one of the favorites among the many players that participate.
Patriots past and present were at Bass Pro Shops in Foxboro for the team's annual "Gifts from the Gridiron," joining 50 children from local homeless shelter programs for some holiday shopping.
Each child was paired up with a player and given a $400 gift card -- compliments of the Patriots Foundation, Devin McCourty and Bass Pro Shops -- to do some holiday shopping. Players encouraged the kids to purchase gifts for themselves and loved ones, filling their carts with winter coats, gloves, and hats, among many other goodies.
McCourty took over hosting duties from Vince Wilfork in 2015, and said that everyone is always eager to participate in the event.
"This is a great tradition for the Patriots organization," said McCourty. "I think all the guys coming -- current players, alumni -- that is what makes it special. To be out here today is a blessing."
"One of the biggest things we can give people is time. To be out here and spend time for a young kid that gets to shop, you get to have an hour, 90 minutes that's all about you," McCourty added. "I think that is essential. Kids don't always get that. When we can invest time in people, we see results and so many positive things. For guys to come out and spend some time on a Tuesday night is a blessing. It's a great time of the year to do it."
The evening also featured dinner, photos with Santa, gift wrapping, and plenty of fun and games for the kids -- and players -- that participated.
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