By Mark Eckel, Player Engagement Insider
As far as the timing goes, it couldn’t have been much better.
Less than 16 hours after they beat the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football, Nov. 19, and three days before Thanksgiving, six Philadelphia Eagles players became Bob Discount Furniture employees and made this holiday season special for Shatia Dennis and her family.
Dennis, a single mother with five children ranging in age from two to 12, was selected by the Eagles Care partner, Dignity Housing, to receive a house full of furniture courtesy of Bob’s. And with the Eagles help made a day of it.
“Great timing, great timing,’’ Eagles safety Rodney McLeod, one of the six players on hand, said. “We might have gotten shut out of the house, if we had lost to the Cowboys. You know how people around here feel about the Cowboys.’’
Instead, the Dennis family welcomed the Eagles players, who spent time with the family, taking pictures and signing different items the team sent over with the players. McLeod was joined on the trip by linebackers Nigel Bradham and Joe Walker, rookie wide receiver Mack Hollins and veteran wide receivers Torrey Smith and Alshon Jeffery. The players, acting as Bob’s employees, carried in some of the furniture that included dressers, cabinets, tables and chairs and more.
“They didn’t expect us to be Bob’s employees for a day,’’ McLeod said. “That was kind of cool.’’
McLeod has been helping out from the time he came into the league with the Rams, as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Virginia.
In St. Louis, McLeod hosted an annual Halloween costume party, “Halloween Huddle’’ for kids at Shriners Hospital for Children. He delivered turkeys to families in need around Thanksgiving and worked with the Salvation Army, making children’s Christmases a little brighter.
“It’s something that’s a part of me and I enjoy doing it,’’ McLeod said. “Ultimately giving back and seeing how much of an impact we have on our community as football players is something special. You really don’t always understand how much you can uplift a sick child’s day, or a family in need, just by our presence. It can change someone’s life forever.’’
That was the goal when he and his teammates, with the aid of Bob’s, helped the Dennis family have a better holiday.
“With Thanksgiving coming, it felt good to come out and do our part, helping out in a time of need,’’ McLeod said. “The kids were very excited. It was a great experience.’’
Last year, the Eagles recognized McLeod as their 2016 Governor of Good for attending the most community service events throughout the year. That doesn’t figure to change any time soon.
“I think with our platform and everything we do, it’s important for us to take the time and give back to others who really need it because of whatever circumstances,’’ McLeod said. “Especially during the holiday season I feel like it’s very important. I’ve always been family oriented and coming here and seeing this family, and at a time of giving, there’s no better feeling than seeing the smiles of their faces. And to get them the furniture I’m sure that’s going to make for a great Thanksgiving for them.’’