Buccaneers Cheerleader Jennifer Abbott enjoys working at the Metropolitan Ministries holiday tent every fall
'Twas the night before Thanksgiving and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were still hard at work helping those in need.
On Wednesday evening, while most people were busy stuffing their turkeys in preparation for the next day's feast, Bucs safety Dexter Jackson was helping to ensure that some less fortunate members of the community had something to eat this Thanksgiving. Jackson provided 12 families in the transitional program of The Spring of Tampa Bay with a turkey and all the fixings for their holiday feast. The Spring, a shelter for victims of domestic violence, has a transitional housing unit where families can begin to stand on their own feet again after receiving assistance from the shelter's crisis program.
This is not the first time that Jackson, who holds a degree in human and family science from Florida State, has worked with The Spring. He often invites children who are housed at The Spring to attend Buccaneers homes games through his ticket program, D-Jack's Dreamers.
"I understand what their little minds are going through and the objective that surrounds the atmosphere they are in," said Jackson. "I just want to let them know that I understand what they're going through and there is somebody here they can talk to in time of need."
After giving out food to the families, Jackson spent time signing autographs, taking pictures and, most importantly, just hanging out with the kids.
Earlier in the day, several Buccaneers Cheerleaders and members of the Buccaneers Student Advisory Board spent a couple of hours at the Metropolitan Ministries Holiday Tent. Cheerleaders Jennifer Abbott, Georgia Brown, Vanessa Castillo, Nichole Creadon, Jessica Diaz, Kayla Drawdy, Tomoko Kojima and Juneanne Nguyen, along with the local high school students who comprise the SAB, sorted food and greeted families who came by to pick up a box of food.
Abbott, a sixth-year veteran on the cheerleading squad who works professionally as a pharmacy technician, has worked at the Holiday Tent each year during Thanksgiving since her rookie season on the squad.
"This is my favorite charity event that we do all year," said Abbott. "It's for a good cause. We actually get to meet the families who receive food, so that's pretty neat."
Davis Gives, Too
Also celebrating the Thanksgiving spirit this week was Buccaneers tackle Anthony Davis, who donated 50 turkey dinners to needy families identified through the social services office in his hometown of Victoria, VA. Davis' mother arranged for the families to pick up the food on behalf of her son.