49ers, Visa take kids on holiday shopping spree

(KGO)
December 3, 2012 6:26:44 PM PST
There was quite a commotion at a Target store in San Jose Monday as some San Francisco 49ers played host to some needy kids. It was the sixth annual Visa Shop with a Player event and this year, it helped some very deserving families being assisted by EHC LifeBuilders.

It's not unusual for children to have a wish list around Christmas, but at the top of these kids' lists were gifts for their families. "Transformers, Optimus Prime for my little brother," one little girl told ABC7 News. The 49ers stepped in with a winning game plan. Five players showed up at Target dressed as Santa's helpers, including tight end Vernon Davis. "This is all about the kids and anytime that it's all about the kids, I'm all for it," he said.

Every kid got to spend a $300 prepaid Visa card and a shopping adventure they will never forget. "It's very, very, very, very exciting because I never been up close to a 49er before," shopper Tanise said. What each child has seen up close is homelessness, which is why EHC LifeBuilders in San Jose has the families in transitional housing and is grateful for corporate partners like Target, Visa, and the 49ers.

"It means they're saying we know homelessness is a problem in this community and we want to be a part of the solution," EHC LifeBuilders CEO Jenny Niklaus said. From dog collars to video games and even a vacuum cleaner, the money is well spent. "Clothes for my brother and sister and they'll like it because they'll have more stuff to wear for school and stuff," shopper Diego said.

Some of the biggest stars in the NFL giving back to those less fortunate reminds everyone what is really important this holiday season. "In life, the only thing you have to hold onto is your family. So, they keep their family first and that's what they're here today for," 49ers wide receiver Randy Moss said.

For the players, success Monday was not measured in touchdowns and even those who didn't know quite how to say thank you found a way. Told that her smile said all that needed to be said shopper Pilaar replied, "I know. It's beautiful. I get it from my mom. She loves me."

Even though the kids did put their families at the top of their lists, they were able to pick out some items for themselves.


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