For nearly 30 years, the Chargers have hosted a shoe distribution for underserved children to kick off the new school year.
On Tuesday, the Bolts continued that tradition with WSS in Los Angeles. They teamed up with Inglewood Unified School District to bring students from the district’s 10 elementary schools to participate in the Community Tuesday event presented by Health Net.
“It’s one of the special things about being a professional athlete and being an L.A. Charger,” mentioned Kyle Emanuel who participated in his fourth shoe distribution. “It’s such a simple thing for us, making the effort, coming out and just being here and using this platform just to try and impact their day, impact their life hopefully and I think they have a lot of fun. I know my teammates and I look forward to this day every year.”
“(This has) been probably one of the biggest things that’s happened to the city in a very long time and I think it’s positive,” said Steve Velez, District Manager for WSS. “Look what they’re doing today and what they’re going to continue to do. This should be a great relationship between WSS and the Chargers.”
Chargers players, Charger Girls and even team staff helped 450 children pick out a pair of new shoes and a backpack. They perused through the aisles looking for that perfect pair.
For some players, the event hit home. For administrators of the school, they were appreciative of the positive impact the players and team made on the kids.
“It’s really touching just because growing up in that, seeing it first hand and seeing how tough it was for some of my friends and other people that I knew to make it out of that, being able to be in a position right now to help those kids out and help them bring a little joy to their day (is great),” Adrian Phillips said. “They might be having a tough day, they might be having a tough time at home or at school, wherever it may be and being able to see the smiles on their faces and give back to them just feels great.”
“This is such an impactful event for all of our children of Inglewood,” added Irene Green, Principal of Payne Elementary School. “As a principal, I’m more than grateful to them. I think that their experience and coming out and hanging out with our students, showing our students that it doesn’t matter where you come from, what you’ve come from, there’s always a place to go and making it as a Charger is one of the (most inspirational stories) to be with them right now.”
All in all, Tuesday’s event is one that will leave a lasting impact on the players. Besides the good they’re doing for others, they also appreciate these days to build camaraderie within their own team.
“It’s great hanging out with your teammates outside of football,” Emanuel added. “You do the same routine every single day and you see the same people in every single meeting, to do something different it kind of forms a different kind of bond. You get to be out in the community together and show support to these kids. It’s just a fun time. It’s special. I think you can’t really undervalue these times, regardless of what you’re doing. Just being together as a team, it really can help you out on the field as well.”
The Chargers teamed up with WSS to provide new shoes and backpacks to deserving children for the Back-to-School season.