No matter where former NFL offensive lineman Jermon Bushrod lived during his 12-year playing career, he made it a point to give back to his community. Bushrod did it when he played in New Orleans, Chicago and Miami.
On Thursday night, Bushrod gave back to his hometown in Virginia, taking 30 elementary school children shopping at a Walmart, The Free-Lance Star of Fredericksburg reported. Bushrod partnered with the store and the King George YMCA, the newspaper reported.
Bushrod, who spent seven years in New Orleans and retired in June after signing a one-day contract, gave each child $200 to spend on themselves and family members, the newspaper reported. Bushrod, who played for the Saints when they won the Super Bowl a decade ago, called his charity "a no-brainer."
"We want to stress to the younger generation the importance of Christmas, that it's about being able to give and to receive," Bushrod told The Free-Lance Star. "And that when you give, that makes your heart feel better."
Bushrod sponsored a similar shopping junket with children in 2015, when he was a member of the Chicago Bears. On another occasion, Bushrod paid for haircuts for boys in the New Orleans area.
"During his NFL career, particularly with the Saints, the Virginia native gave back significantly both to his home state and to the community where he played the majority of his playing tenure," the Saints wrote on their website.
For this year's event, the Rotary Club of King George-Dahlgren gave the children coats through the nationwide Operation Warm program, The Free-Lance Star reported.
Bushrod attended King George High School in Virginia and Towson State before he was drafted by the Saints in the fourth round of the 2007 NFL draft.
After Thursday's shopping spree, the children were treated to pizza at the YMCA, where they played games and wrapped their presents, The Free-Lance Star reported.
“I think it’s awesome that he is coming back to his roots, where he started, and is able to give back to the children in his community,” Meaghan Williams, the executive director of the King George YMCA, told the newspaper.