It's the season of giving. And Jaguars players are taking advantage of their chance to give thanks and give back.
Players and members of the Jaguars Women's Association (JWA) celebrated the spirit of Thanksgiving with the children and teenagers of the Boys and Girls Club at the Giving Thanks Dinner on Monday. Jaguars Team Chaplain Anthony Johnson gave a 'Give Thanks Message' and blessed the food to begin the event, while OL Kelvin Beachum, SS Jonathan Cyprien and OL Luke Joeckel interacted with the kids over a meal donated by Popeye's. After the meal, OLs Josh Wells and Patrick Omameh joined the JWA to decorate cookies with the kids, and WR Bryan Walters and OL Tyler Shatley also competed with teens in ping pong and video games. Each child went home with a bag of fruit donated by Feeding Northeast Florida.
Jaguars TE Julius Thomas also celebrated the holiday spirit by spending time with visitors at the Sulzbacher Center.
"As a professional athlete, you always have a connection to the community that you are playing in," said Thomas. "Anything I can do to inspire the youth during this time of thankfulness is a blessing to me."
On Tuesday, Jaguars WR Allen Hurns, OL A.J. Cann and several other Jaguars served hot meals with a smile during their afternoon visit at the Sulzbacher Center. Home to more than 340 homeless members of the Jacksonville community, the center provides the opportunities for men, women and children to achieve a better life and more opportunities. In addition to preparing and serving food, LB Paul Posluszny covered the cost of the entire meal served on Thanksgiving day. LBs Dan Skuta and Hayes Pullard also spread holiday cheer by donating children's games, toys, coloring books and snacks to the Sulzbacher Center.
Punter Brad Nortman his off-day preparing food, washing dishes and interacting with visitors.
"Being here - it tugs on your heart. You always want to do more and to do everything you can," said Nortman. "We've been lucky to be incredibly blessed in a lot of different ways, and there is that humanity in us that just wants to give back."