“As soon as we walk in the door, you can see the kids’ faces light up because they know we’re there for them. I’ve gotten to hang out with so many cool little kids while I’ve volunteered, and it makes me feel great for the rest of my day. It’s so humbling that these kids look up to us as role models, almost like we’re their version of an NFL player,” he said.
Turner added that they also volunteer because it helps them stay focused on the community.
“The 30 of us chose to volunteer our time ahead of the biggest week of our season because it helps us stay focused on what a win like this would mean for Springfield. It’s a win for this little fourth grader, his fifth-grade brother and every kid in this city. It shows them that they have the potential to be just as successful, if not even more so,” he said.
The kids trying on new shoes may one day be a Wildcat, Douglass said, and spending time with the team helps build up the next generation.
“My guys may not even understand yet how much of an influence they have over the elementary school students and how much they are revered. Kids will smile for the rest of the day because they got to hang out with the Wildcat football team for an hour. That’s a powerful force,” he said.