Just as the first frost of the year hit Northern Virginia, a special event was spreading some warmth to elementary school students.
The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation and Macy’s made sure 250 local first and second graders from six schools in the D.C. Metro area wouldn’t have to worry about being properly clothed this winter, as they held their annual Share the Warmth Coat Giveaway on Tuesday.
Each student got to “shop” in a private Macy’s pop-up coat center, where they were able to pick out a coat that fit them and their style.
The best part? The students had some special shopping helpers, as Redskins players Kapri Bibbs, Mack Brown , Josh Doctson , Rob Kelley, Byron Marshall, Samaje Perine, Adrian Peterson, Nick Sundberg ,Chris Thompson and Tress Way, were all in attendance.
Macy’s and the Redskins Charitable Foundation provided 250 local children with a brand new winter coat for the season. Macy’s transformed a section of their store into a space where Redskins players and WOW Wives served as personal shoppers for the kids!
Punter Tress Way, who has done the event every year since signing with the team in 2014, said the event is special to him because it reminded him of going school shopping with his family when he was a kid, and that getting to share that with students who may not be able to do that with their own family is important to him.
“I don’t know how long all of us are gonna get to play in the NFL, I don’t know how long all of us are going to get to play for the ‘Skins but, as long as you get to change some lives along the way, football will be done one day but hopefully a lot of these kids will remember this for a long time,” Way said.
But the coat and hat giveaway wasn’t the only magic that happened at the event. Local magician Chris Michael had a special set of illusions set up for the students, including making quarters disappear (and reappear behind ears, or to be produced from inside a student’s nose). It was an exciting segue to the final activity for each school: A big dance party. Students and players alike were cutting it up on the dance floor to some music by DJ Chazon.
The DJ wasn’t the only one who felt the spirit of giving at the event. Running back Kapri Bibbs considered being a part of these events one of his biggest roles as a professional athlete.
“When you think about it there’s kids out here in some of these neighborhoods, parents don’t have enough money to buy them new coats, some of them have holes in their coats, some of them can’t afford it,” Bibbs said. “It’s important, it’s winter time, kids gotta stay bundled up, they’ve gotta stay warm.”
Bibbs said he developed the need to give back from watching his mom when he was growing up.
“She always took care of everybody around her. She always gave things that she didn’t have, to see other people happy,” Bibbs said. “And I’ve seen her do that and I’ve seen her gain happiness from helping other people even though she struggled, I’ve seen her get fulfilled out of just helping other people and that rubbed off a lot on me, and that’s what I want to do.”