TUKWILA, Wash. -- Seahawks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney knows what it's like to grow up without a father: his own dad was in prison for much of Clowney's childhood.
That's what made it all the more special Tuesday when he connected with 26 kids, many of whom have incarcerated parents, for an event called Jingle-A-Thon with Jadeveon.
Clowney teamed up with Big Brothers Big Sisters Puget Sound to surprise the kids with $200 gift cards for a shopping spree at the Southcenter Target store in Tukwila.
"With this platform, I want to try to use it to the best of my ability to give back to kids, to let them know it’s a story behind this, it’s not just, I get to the NFL," Clowney said. "I want them to know I didn’t come up easy … No matter your situation right now, in 10, 12 years from now, all of that can change."
Clowney and Big Brothers Big Sisters also sent the kids off with new backpacks filled with school supplies and Seahawks swag.
He said he wanted to make sure these kids, who have been through so much, have a happy holiday season.