INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — When you have to decide between warm coats for your kids or making sure they have a meal at home, it can mean some very cold trips to the bus stop.
Around 250 kids no longer need to worry about that choice this year, as they were handed new winter gear from volunteers and Colts players on Tuesday.
Everywhere you looked, there were Colts logos and wide-eyed kids. While that’s all a fun time, their teachers hope they took more home than just some new clothes.
Ralph Waldo Emerson students of all ages filed into the gym to receive their choice of hat, coat and a snack, handed out by Indianapolis Colts players.
“You know, it’s just an awesome time of the year to go back into the schools and be able to lend a helping hand,” said quarterback Jacoby Brissett.
The giveaway is part of the 14th annual Lids for Kids program, which aims to help schools with a lot of students in low-income families.
“A lot of these kids unfortunately don’t have the ability to get a new hat and coat,” said Sarah Lim, Lids business development and partnership manager.
“Now I think some of our parents can rest a little easier,” said Principal Jean Ely of Ralph Waldo Emerson. “Sometimes they have to make decisions as to whether it’s putting food on the table or making sure that their scholars have warm hats and coats.”
And the kids may not be thinking of their family’s financial situations, which is why the adults involved hope interactions with these Colts players and volunteers help them grow as people and know they’re cared for by a loving community.
“This event tells the kids that go to this school, ‘Hey, you matter. You’re important to us. You matter to us and we’re the Indianapolis Colts. You matter to us and we’re the Lids Foundation. You matter to me, I’m a school board member, and I’m here because these kids are important to us,’” said Michael O’Connor, IPS board president.
“Somebody’s there for them,” Brissett said. “That they can lean on other people. The outpour of love and joy that they probably get from this event, you hope that they see that.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson’s principal hopes in the future, these kids remember this experience and they’ll want to give back to their community.