Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Helping Hands

Derrick Brooks, Dexter Jackson and Nate Webster kick off a busy Bucs Thanksgiving week in the community, distributing holiday meals at the Boys & Girls Club with help from Publix

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LB Derrick Brooks continued his annual tradition at the Boys & Girls Club, distributing holiday dinners to families in need

The holiday season is a time for giving, a time for sharing and helping others. That time is upon us.

Over the course of this week, Buccaneers.com will chronicle several events that Buccaneer players and the organization as a whole are participating in to help make this holiday season much brighter for the Bay area.

The Buccaneers' seasonal giving began on Sunday with the Glazer Family Foundation Food Drive at Raymond James Stadium. Coming off a big win over Green Bay and an equally large collection of canned goods, the players knew it was their turn to get into the act.

And who better to kick off the Buccaneers' holiday events than Pro Bowl LB Derrick Brooks.

On Monday, Brooks, with the help of Publix Super Markets, donated 100 thanksgiving dinners to families whose children attend the Belmont Heights and Ybor City Boys & Girls Clubs. With help from fellow Bucs S Dexter Jackson and LB Nate Webster, Brooks gave away 100 meals, each including a Thanksgiving turkey, green beans, corn, potatoes, dinner rolls and dessert.

"It's a fantastic program," said Ricky Gallon, Director of the Belmont Heights Boys & Girls Club. "I can't explain in words all that Derrick does for the centers. Just his presence here, coming in and seeing the kids on his free time, the donations, all the programs that he runs – it makes it so much easier for the kids to come in and do something positive."

As the families came through the line and collected their Thanksgiving dinners, each person shook hands with the visiting Bucs and thanked them for taking time out to help those that are less fortunate.

Brooks, in his fourth year of providing Thanksgiving meals in this manner, greeted all of the recipients with a warm smile and a handshake, wishing them a 'Happy Thanksgiving' and distributing the meals to them. Many of those in attendance knew Brooks from his Brooks' Bunch and Christmas programs at the Boys & Girls Clubs, but even those that had never met him before were grateful for his helping hand.

"He's a great person," said one recipient. "To do this year after year just shows how much he cares."

Brooks himself was just trying to share the feelings he has at this time of the season.

"It means a lot," said Brooks. "First of all, I thank God to be able to come out here and be able to assist in a small manner of donating dinners to families and lend them support. A couple of my teammates, with Dexter Jackson and Nate Webster, it's a fun time for us. And that just makes Thanksgiving what it is, a time to sit back and be thankful for the blessings that have been bestowed upon us."

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