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Donte Moncrief Changes The Christmas Game For Kids

Donte Moncrief hasn't forgotten where he came from - or how it feels to have to do without. So ten days before Christmas, he took kids from a low income high school shopping for Christmas.


"Everybody loves Christmas," said Colts wide receiver Donte Moncrief. "That's a time that all kids like."

But he knows not all kids get to celebrate Christmas by opening gifts.

"Some kids just aren't in a situation to be able to do those things," he said.

He knows that because he was one of those kids.


"I know how it feels not to be able to get the things that others have, being picked on and stuff like that."

He had a loving family and his parents did their best to provide for him and his brothers. But it only went so far.

"As long as you have family, those are the only presents that matter. Whatever our parents got us, we were always happy with," he said. "But at the same time, when you see all the other kids with presents, it kind of bothers you a little bit."

Now that he's grown up and playing for the Colts, it bothers him a lot to think of about kids with no presents at Christmas time.

"Like my dad always told me, when you can do it – do it. I'm in a place now where I can help others and that's what I want to do."

On Friday, December 15th, Moncrief hosted 60 students from Providence Cristo Rey High School at Dick's Sporting Goods in Plainfield.


He signed footballs, posed for pictures, and helped the kids shop for themselves and others with gift cards provided by his Game Changer Foundation and Dick's.

"We just told them they were going to have a Christmas experience. And when we got on the bus and told them what we were about to do, they were so excited," said Kateri Whitley, Director of Marketing and Alumni Outreach.

"Most of our kids don't often know where their next meal is coming from or where they're even staying that night," said Sandy Pasotti, Associate Director of Development and Events.

For those kids, Christmas presents are a luxury.

"We have two sisters who are new this year at Providence. And their mom was recently diagnosed with cancer," Pasotti said. "I was just visiting with one of them and asking her if she found something. She said, 'I found a pair of shoes for myself. My sister found a jacket. And as soon as she gets back here, we're going to look for something for Mom for Christmas.'"

And that's something they wouldn't be able to do on their own.

"It's important to be able to give. And for having so little, so many of them – they are giving," said Pasotti. "They do think of others. And they do appreciate going out and serving others."

Serving is a priority at Providence Cristo Rey. They also appreciate those who serve them.


"We partner with so many people in the community. And we have to," Pasotti said. "We couldn't do what we do without these other entities and individuals."

The goal is to open the world up to their students - and to open their minds and hearts while they do it.

"The motto of Cristo Rey is 'Changing urban America one student at a time,'" said Dr. Margie Crooks, school president. "Our goal is to educate them, help them to see that there's more, and live the dream."

Donte Moncrief is living the dream.


"He walks up to them and their faces just light up," Whitley said. "It's an example of what you do when you become successful. It's just the ultimate role model. He's giving back in the best kind of way."

The hope is that one day, their students will be in a position to do the same.

"During the prayer at lunch today they said, 'Let's not forget the poor,'" Pasotti said. "We're praying for them because they have so little. But they're praying for those who have less."

These kids haven't forgotten those less fortunate than them.

And neither has Donte Moncrief.

Photos courtesy of Aaron Farrier.

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