Wilson and his wife Ciara's Why Not You Foundation partnered with DICK'S Sporting Goods and The DICK'S Foundation Sports Matter program to give 15 local children from Rainier Athletes an unforgettable experience. Wilson gave each lucky kid a $200 gift card and personally helped them pick out new gear.
"I remember the first gift my parents got me that really meant a lot to me was my first baseball glove," said Wilson, who briefly played Minor League Baseball with the Rockies. "I had an A2K baseball glove, I had wanted it for years, and I was finally able to get it. My parents got it for me for Christmas. Tonight a lot of kids got their first soccer ball, their first pair of cleats, so that’s pretty cool."
In addition to the hands-on help with the shopping, Wilson also presented a $25,000 Sports Matter grant from The DICK'S Foundation to Rainier Athletes, which is a Seattle-based non-profit that uses sports and mentorship to help at-risk students.
The timing of Wilson's contribution was apt, since Giving Tuesday — the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving — has become one of the biggest philanthropic days of the calendar in recent years. But Wilson has also long remained active in the Seattle area, especially when it's come to children's charities.
"It’s all about encouraging youth to believe and dream big," Wilson said. "I was a kid that used to come to this store, DICK'S Sporting Goods, as a young kid not having much and wanting a new pair of shoes, a new baseball glove, wanting a new football, whatever it may be. Maybe I couldn’t always afford it. Just to be able to give them a little love, the Rainier Athletes, so many great young kids. Just to support them and go on a shopping spree, have a little fun, let them know I care about them and their dreams and where they want to go. And ultimately, if I can do it, they can do it. It’s been a blessing to see so many kids tonight and have little fun on Giving Tuesday."
(Top photo courtesy of DICK'S Sporting Goods)