Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill wants to use what he has as a professional athlete and give some back to the community.
He was able to do some of that on Saturday with kids from the Boys and Girls Club.
Nine lucky boys arrived at Academy Sports and Outdoors in Overland Park, not too sure what was about to happen. Moments later, they found out that Hill had given them each $100 gift cards to buy whatever they wanted in the store.
The biggest thing Hill looked forward to was seeing their reactions.
“(I looked forward to) seeing their faces. When you’re a kid, you want to the opportunity to be apart of something like this,” Hill said. “You want to meet stars and get to know them, see what their personality is like.”
But it’s not just about meeting stunned kids.
The 24-year-old Florida native looks back on many adventures in his life. He remembers his parents telling him to give back.
“I mean, growing up as a kid, you always want to be apart of something that gives back,” Hill said. “My parents always taught me to give back, because that’s how you receive blessings. That’s how I was raised, and that’s what I’m going to continue."
Some of the kids bought football gear. Cleats, gloves and mouthpieces for football camps. Others bought shorts, shirts and socks.
Davis Smith, one of the children that was a recipient of Hill’s generosity, thought attending the Tyreek Hill Football Camp was enough. But when he found out he was able to get new shoes and gloves, he was ecstatic.
“It was fun because I saved a lot of money and got a lot of stuff,” Smith said. “And, I got to hang out with Tyreek Hill more. I was happy to see him and I love that he helped me.”
In the past, Derrick Johnson and Kareem Hunt also have worked through Academy Sports to give back. Amy Acock, the regional marketing manager at Academy sports, loves that professional athletes are willing to step up to the plate and give back.
“For me personally, it is really exciting to see because we have to give back to our youth,” Acock said. “The kids look up to our professional athletes, and for our athletes to be a role model for them and take time out of their busy schedules to come and do a shopping trip with them, they don’t know what difference it’ll make in these kids’ life.”
John Poke, a driver for the Boys and Girls Club, enjoys watching this happen. For him, the biggest highlight was watching them get their shopping spree and their reaction.
“I wish I had someone doing this for me when I was younger,” Poke said. "Some of these kids, they come from circumstances that maybe their parents can’t afford to do extra things or buy them those cleats because they had to pay bills. Tyreek isn’t just helping the kids, this helps out the families too.”
Although he didn’t come up with the idea, Hill still hopes it inspires other players to pay it forward.
“It’s just apart of the plan, which is giving back,” he said “I told everyone earlier in my career that I want to be big in the community and I want to give back … I’m doing what I can.”