Tuesday night was a bustling one at Patriot Place. At Bass Pro Shop, shoppers zipped through aisles, navigating their carts as they tossed hats, gloves, coats and toys into a pile of presents.
The debates going on about what to buy were as thoughtful as they were funny, as 50 kids punched numbers into a calculator to make sure they under budget with their own personal shopping buddy: a New England Patriot.
The Patriots Foundation and Devin McCourty hosted the annual Gifts from the Gridiron event on Tuesday night, where kids from local organizations get paired with a Patriots player, alumni or cheerleader to shop for the holidays and get winter necessities. The event is typically a big one of the players, and this year was no different. Dozens of players and alumni came out to help their new friends do some shopping, including Devin, Duron Harmon, David Andrews, Brandin Cooks, Malcolm Butler, Malcolm Mitchell, Johnson Bademosi, Joe Cardona, Deatrich Wise, Derek Rivers, Jordan Richards, Cole Croston and more.
Each kid and their Patriot personal shopper hit the store with a gift card, and they had to use it to buy winter gear for themselves and a gift for someone else. The remainder of the gift card could be used to buy more gifts or treats for themselves.
Devin and his family help sponsor the event, and it is a special one in a year full of days in the community, especially because so many of his teammates volunteer their time.
"It means everything. It really shows what the Patriots as an organization really stand for. Obviously, with Mr. Kraft and his late wife Myra, what they stood for, not just winning football games and winning Super Bowls, but being a pillar in the community," Devin said. "The guys that come in here, they understand it and learn from the older guys. It just gets passed down from generation to generation."
Though they just met that night, many of the Patriots and their shopping partners hit it off. Johnson and his pal Mark joked around as they crossed items of their list.
"He's a good guy," Mark said of Johnson. "We're enjoying ourselves," Johnson added. "This is my first time, and I think it's an amazing event. It's something I'm happy to participate in and it's definitely part of the holiday spirit."
After the shopping spree, the pairs checked out, wrapped up their gifts and took pictures with players, alumni, cheerleaders and Pat Patriot. For more photos from the event, check out the gallery below.
Patriots captain Devin McCourty was joined by several of his teammates, as well as Patriots cheerleaders and alumni, as they partnered with 50 children in need from local homeless shelter programs on a holiday shopping spree at Bass Pro Shops at Patriot Place on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017. Each child received a $400 gift card, compliments of the Patriots Charitable Foundation.