Giving Back

As we officially begin the holiday season with Thanksgiving this weekend, many of us look for opportunities to help members of our community that are in need. As an organization, the 49ers are incredibly generous, and virtually every Tuesday during the season, many of the players spend their day off at organized events throughout the Bay Area. Today was no exception. The team organized our participation at a Thanksgiving meal that was served to the less fortunate. It blessed me to see these guys, as enormous as they are, handing out heaping plates that the size of their hands dwarfed, taking pictures and passing out smiles and hugs. I’m proud that they aren’t too busy or too wealthy or too comfortable to remember that there are people within walking distance of the training facility that are scrounging through trash in search of food scraps.

My parents are in town. They moved out of their big, beautiful home on the lake (of previous blog post fame), and have worked their hind ends off for the last month. We insisted on their coming out west to relax and recuperate, albeit the laundry room has been hopping since their plane touched ground, and they were honored to join us today. We served as greeters, name-tag makers, and hand sanitizer spritzers.

And for our kids in high school, this was a perfect opportunity to earn some service hours. Jackie and her friend Matt participated:

I always look for the humor in these occasions, probably because my heart would break if I focused only on the seriousness of these people’s situations. And I was, indeed, able to chuckle with some of our guests. I can only imagine, in my worst nightmare kind of way, living on the streets. It’s apparent that the tough surroundings do little to encourage one’s social graces…in other words, they tell it like it is!! Here are a couple comments that made me laugh:

“So you’re the coach’s wife? You’re pretty. But I thought he’d be married to a black lady.”

And one particularly interesting exchange went like this, all with barely a breath in between questions: “Do you remember the first Thanksgiving? Know where it was? Jamestown, Virginia. Know when? 1620. So you’re with the 49ers? Uh oh…I’ve got bad news for you; I’m a Seattle Seahawks fan. Did you like Touched by an Angel? I have a picture of Roma Downey. Know who she is? She was Monica on Touched by an Angel. Know why they took it off the air? Cause they talked about God.”

And there were a few who mentioned the team’s losing record…   “So you’re with the team? They’re doing bad.”

One gentleman even shared the most colorful, yet mildly inappropriate, description of just exactly how cold it was outside. Let’s just say it involved certain body parts.

But one sweet man said, “tell your husband that things are bad right now, but it’s all good.”

And guess what? He’s exactly right. For this rainy Tuesday afternoon where everyone from our owner to one of our coach’s three-year-old sons, our record didn’t matter. What did matter was some hungry, cold people were given a warm seat, a hot meal, and a place to set down their life’s possessions ~ most of which would fit in a plastic grocery bag ~ and the very comfortable people that set aside an afternoon to participate in giving back.



  1. Joanne says:

    What a wonderful summary of today’s event. Thanks again for all of your help … and for bringing along sunshine in the form of your parents, Jackie, and friend Matt. So blessed to have your support!

  2. nicole w says:

    Beautifully said! I particularly liked the woman who thought I was your daughter, she was a real hoot! Cheers & Blessings!

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