SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) — Deebo Samuel, an NFL player with Upstate ties, is giving back to his community this holiday season.
“He loves home, so he’ll never forget his roots,” said Precious Martin, Samuel’s stepmother.
This holiday season, Samuel and Martin wanted upstate families to have a big Christmas celebration.
“That’s just something we do, our family, we’re over-givers, we just want to help out,” said Martin.
She said they reached out to the Boys and Girls Club, in hopes of giving kids a Christmas they’ll never forget. At first, she said the Boys and Girls Club connected them to 25 kids, but Martin said Samuel wanted to help more. Now, they’re helping 50 kids.
“I wanted to make our mark here in Spartanburg you know, of course, he’s already made his mark as being a top, excellent athlete coming from Spartanburg, South Carolina, but I want him to be more than just an athlete playing football, I want there to be mentorship, I want us to help out when we can,” said Martin.
On Saturday, a group will hit the mall, heading out on a $300 shopping spree funded by the Deebo Samuel Foundation. The kids will also receive gift bags filled with merch, an autograph, and more. Martin said it’s a big relief for some parents.
“The parents were crying and it was like they didn’t know what they were going to do, it was like a Christmas miracle,” said Martin.
On Friday, her family is packing goodie bags and getting ready to spread holiday cheer. She said it’s important for them to support the Spartanburg community and uplift young kids.
“It warms your heart, just to see that kids are happy and kids that are appreciative that may not have much, but somebody extends something like that to them and hopefully they’ll remember that for the rest of their life,” said Martin.
Martin said Samuel will not be able to attend the shopping event, due to his injuries, but she still hopes the group of kids will be able to take something positive away from this event.
Samuel is a former Chapman Panther and also played at the University of South Carolina. He currently is on the San Francisco 49ers.