TAMPA, Fla. — Buccaneers outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett presented foster children with new athletic shoes Tuesday to help them start the new year off on the right foot.
Partnering with A Kids Place of Tampa Bay and UnitedHealthCare, Barrett handed out the new sneakers and also participated in activities with the children during the event in Brandon.
"[I'm] showing the kids they have people that are out there that appreciate them, that love them and just want to see them do good and succeed," Barrett said at the event. "It seems like a hard thing but one of the easiest things to do is to give time out to the kids and let them know that they're important.
"I love seeing kids happy, I want to put a smile on their faces and I want to give back," he said.
The kids' new shoes were donated by UnitedHealthcare and the event featured a rock climbing wall, face painting, photo booth, music, caricature and other games, UnitedHealthcare said in a news release.
The Super Bowl winner was joined by UnitedHealthcare volunteers and A Kids Place of Tampa Bay staff to hand out the shoes and also a special gift bag.
A Kids Place of Tampa Bay provides a home for children up to the age of 23 that were removed from their homes due to abandonment, abuse or neglect. Its main mission is to keep siblings together in a safe, stable environment until a permanent home can be provided, the nonprofit wrote on its website. It currently houses more than 50 children across the Tampa Bay area.