The holidays are a time many of us look forward to for several reasons—spending time with our loved ones, having a second to kick the feet up and relax, eating a delicious meal, opening gifts and giving to others are just a few reasons why we love this time of the year.
We know this year's holidays will look different for all of us, but a few things will stay constant. While many of us will be gathering with just our immediate family or will be alone, there's still several ways to spread the holiday spirit.
COVID-19 or not, several Bills players and family members found causes close to their heart and donated in hopes to help many people during the holiday season.
The wide receivers group including wide receivers coach Chad Hall continued their tradition of adopting a family who is in need. This year the group donated to Lamont Thomas and his family, a single father who lives in Buffalo. For the last 20 years, Thomas has fostered more than 30 children.
Thomas most recently adopted five siblings all under the age of five. He now is the father of 12 kids, two of which are his biological children. The five siblings had been living apart for more than a year and a half before Thomas adopted them and brought them back together.
Wide receiver Andre Roberts felt it was important to give back due to how much time Thomas has invested into fostering children.
"It's just something that we like to do to give back," Roberts said. "It's nice for us to give back and support the family. We don't know their situation that much, but I just know that this year we're giving back to an older gentleman that has adopted some kids. It's nice to be able to give back to his family and kids."
Wide receiver Cole Beasley is thankful for people like Thomas.
"I think any help is appreciated," Beasley said. "I have kids of my own. I only have three so I can only imagine how it is to take care of that many, especially that many young ones. So anything we can do it help and make it easier. That's an awesome thing that he's doing. It's very inspiring to us, so we just wanted to help out."
The wide outs are just a few of the many people in the Bills organization who are giving back and donating during the holiday season. A few other initiatives are listed below:
- Safety Micah Hyde and his foundation Imagine for Youth donated 100 pairs of sneakers, t-shirts and shorts to 100 kids from the Belle Center, Matt Urban Hope Center, Boys & Girls Club and Northwest Buffalo Community Center.
- Quarterback Matt Barkley and his wife Britt gave $10,000 to Matt Urban Hope House. The Hope House's mission is to revitalize neighborhoods, serve families and change lives by bringing together public and private resources to help community residents become self-sustaining.
- Offensive lineman Brian Winters and his wife Jenny donated to FeedMore WNY for the holidays.
- General manager Brandon Beane and his wife Hayley donated gift cards, stuffed animals and treat bags to patients at Oishei's NICU.
- Offensive lineman Dion Dawkins partnered with Rooted in Love to host the Shnowy Christmas Meal and Giveaway event.
- Tight end Tyler Kroft and his wife Lexi donated meals to the COVID units at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital and Buffalo General Medical Center.
- Defensive lineman Ed Oliver hosted a toy giveaway in Louisiana.
- Linebacker Matt Milano and wide receiver Gabriel Davis helped 8-year-old Buffalo resident Jackson DeLude receive new running prosthetics by flying him down to Florida to be fitted for and get his new prosthetics. Afterwards, the two treated Jackson to a day at Disney to test out his prosthetics.