NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Christmas came early to the kids at the Boys and Girls Club off Hampton Avenue in Newport News when retired football player Michael Vick donated thousands of dollars worth of gifts.
"All my mom told me was that I needed to be at the Boys and Girls Club," said Emmanuel Jones. "I had no idea that this was going to happen, though."
Inside, tables were littered with gifts including dolls, basketballs and scooters. There were also expensive selections including Barbie Jeeps and Play Stations 4 and 5.
The CEO of Newport News Boys and Girls Club, Al Smith, the generosity was astounding.
"We knew Mike had something planned, but we had no idea how much he was giving," said Smith. "When we saw the U-haul truck coming around, we started to put together it was going to be a lot."
Vick said the gesture was made out of goodwill to the Newport News community. Vick donated the gifts to the same Boys and Girls Club he went to as a boy.
"I walked these halls, and I played in these fields, I know what it is like to live and grow here," said Vick. "These kids deserve it, and if I can provide, then you know I will."
Each child was allowed one gift of their choice from the several tables set up. Vick said their reactions to the presents made the price he paid worth it.
"I love seeing their faces, all of them getting so excited. I never forgot where I came from and I want them all to know how appreciated they are," said Vick.
This is not the first time Vick has given back to the Newport News community, but it is the first time it has been centered on Christmas gifts.
Vick said he hopes to make it a new holiday tradition.