New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram hosted his fourth annual Shop with a Saint on Tuesday, Dec. 9, granting 25 children a shopping spree with him, some of his teammates, Saintsations, Gumbo, and Sir Saint. Each child was given a $200 Academy Sports Outdoors gift card to shop and they had free run of the Metairie location. Many children chose bikes and shoes while others picked out clothing and even a fishing pole.
"You always want to give back and help any way that you can but especially during the holidays with Christmas coming up," Ingram said. "It's great to lend a helping hand to those that are in need. This part of the season is about giving back and making others smile and be happy."
The children listened intently to Ingram as he addressed them about the importance of hard work and staying positive. They were then introduced to the rest of the players in attendance and paired up for their shopping extravaganza.
The children were chosen by Ingram's the Mark Ingram Foundation, which commits to enhancing the health, education, and welfare of underprivileged children across the United States, particularly those challenged by the absence of an incarcerated parent.
"It's awesome to come and see the kids that are just like me," Ingram said. "Their parents are incarcerated, my father is currently incarcerated so just letting them know that they can do great things and they don't have to be a statistic. I just want them to have a great time."