Academy Sports Outdoors in Harahan teamed up with New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram and his foundation to provide 22 children a private shopping spree of a lifetime on Tuesday, Dec. 8.
Each child was given a $200 Academy Sports Outdoors gift card to shop with Mark and the Saints players for any items they have on their holiday wish list, such as bikes, shoes, toys, clothing and more.
Ingram was joined by teammates Willie Snead, Austin Johnson and Brandon Coleman.
"All these kids are just like me, they had a parent that is currently in jail or incarcerated and that's what my foundation is aimed toward, helping children with incarcerated parents and that's something that's very close to me and to my life," Ingram said. "We're just here to help them, encourage them and be a positive influence and it's just a blessing to be able to take them shopping."
The children were chosen by Ingram's charitable foundation, The Mark Ingram Foundation, which is committed to enhancing the health, education and welfare of underprivileged children across the country, particularly those challenged by the absence of an incarcerated parent.
Saints tight end Benjamin Watson hosted a shopping event for 25 local families from the New Orleans Family Justice Center on Tuesday, Dec. 8.
Dinner was provided and each family received a Wal-Mart gift card.
Watson and his teammates helped the families pick out gifts for their children.
Watson was joined by Luke McCown, Willie Snead, Austin Johnson, Justin Drescher, Senio Kelemente, Josh Hill, Michael Hoomanawanui, Seantavius Jones, Brandon Coleman and Chris Manhertz.
"Our main goal during Christmas is to have the parents of children come, working with New Orleans Family Justice Center, and allow them to be the heroes in their kid's life," Watson said. "The reason we named our Foundation One More, is because our hope is that the folks here will go and pass it to one more person that they will do something kind for someone else because something was done for them."
"I've been on a few teams, but here with the Saints, our organization, it starts at the top, my teammates, we always get involved in what everyone else is doing and supporting each other," Watson said of his teammates' support. "It's really awesome to see."
About One More
One More is devoted to spreading the love and hope of Christ to One More soul by meeting real needs, promoting education and providing enrichment opportunities through charitable initiatives and partnerships.
About New Orleans Family Justice: New Orleans Family Justice Center is a partnership of agencies dedicated to ending family violence, child abuse, sexual assault and stalking through prevention and coordinated response by provide comprehensive client-centered, empowerment services in a single location.