GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Pushing around a shopping cart with NFL player, Justin Hardy, is something these kids will never forget.
“Is it cool shopping with Justin?”
“Yes! He is an NFL player and that we’re shopping with an NFL player!” said Brandon Tappin, recipient of a gift card.
Hardy gave ten local kids from the boys and girls club $100 gift cards to spend at Academy Sports and Outdoors in Greenville.
“Growing up here, it’s my hometown so just getting the chance to come back to my old stomping grounds, giving back to the kids,” said Justin Hardy, wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons. “Giving them something to look forward to, that’s been my whole big thing.”
Some kids spent their money on clothing, some on toys or shoes. Others spent their money on equipment for their favorite sport.
“You get to have a fun time with your friends and you get to just make other people happy and show your talent,” said gift card recipient, Serenity Greggs.
Besides being able to shop alongside Justin Hardy, he also gave the kids some tips on what to buy.
“He said those are some nice shoes,” said Tappin.
“Something that a lot of athletes, a lot of young boys and girls, they go through to get to the next level,” said Hardy. “Just giving them encouraging words that they can be whatever they want to be.”
At the end of the shopping sprees, Hardy signed autographs and offered advice to chasing their dreams.
“Whatever they want to do, go for it,” said Hardy. “Don’t let anybody tell them they can’t be something they want to be.”