CJ Francoeur signed up to be a big brother for one reason.
“To give back and help be a good influence role model for the younger generation.”
Francoeur and his little brother, Tyrique, like to hang out, play with his dog, Stella, and go to movies. On Monday night, they went to the Pacers game. And on Tuesday night, they did some holiday shopping with the Colts.
For the tenth year, the Colts teamed up with Meijer for Shop with a Colt as part of their Community Tuesday events. This year, they invited 40 underserved youth from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana.
They started with a pizza party courtesy of Papa John’s, then hit the aisles with $200 gift cards from Meijer, volunteers from Big Brothers Big Sisters, Colts players, Colts cheerleaders, and Colts mascot, Blue.
“It made it a lot of fun. They were very interactive. I know they were playing dodge ball with Tyrique, running around asking him questions, helped him pick out some gifts, so I think it really made his day,” said Francoeur. “They might have instigated dodge ball, actually. I don’t know if it was them or Blue.”
I’ll just leave this here and let you decide for yourself.
“It’s a great time. It brings a lot of joy to these kids,” said long snapper Matt Overton, who delivered a flag-worthy hit on Blue.
“And it’s fun for myself and my teammates and the entire community. It’s really cool to see onlookers just seeing what’s going on here.”
Overton spent some time with Miguel, who shopped for his siblings first, and just before checking out, decided to put something for himself back to buy a gift for his baby niece.
“Miguel has been incredible,” said Overton. “He definitely put his family before himself as well as selecting the Toys for Tots item for a boy and a girl tonight. So, really cool to see.”
Safety Matthias Farley saw the same thing with the boy he was shopping with.
“R.J. has been very thoughtful. He’s gotten things that he needed, some winter stuff. He’s gotten things for his teachers, for his mom. He hasn’t really thought about himself in a fun way yet. He’s gotten practical things for himself and cool things for other people. He’s a great kid.”
Farley said for him, anything with kids is fun – especially at Christmastime.
“We did something similar to this at Notre Dame and it was always my favorite thing of the year because they’re so excited and you see kids shopping for their siblings or their parents, getting things that their household needs like toilet paper, things like that. You wouldn’t think a kid who came in with the opportunity to spend $200 on whatever he wants would go get things like that.”
Yet, that’s what they did – over and over.
“One kid was buying some socks for his grandmother and I thought that was really nice,” said defensive tackle T.Y. McGill.
“I feel like they feel like they’re being blessed and they want to bless somebody else and they’re just excited to give to their family members too,” said tight end Mike Miller.
For the adults, seeing the kids embrace the reason for the season was a gift. And so was turning into a kid again, if only for a few hours.
“The Christmas spirit is definitely flowing through me right now,” said Francoeur.
The more you give, the more you get.
Colts players who participated: Darryl Morris (35), Matthias Farley (41), Stefan McClure (42), Matt Overton (45), Deon King (50), Devin Street (81), Mike Miller (85), and T.Y. McGill (99).
From school and hospital visits to youth football camps and holiday outreach, Colts players participate in a wide variety of “Community Tuesday” activities throughout the season. Colts Community Tuesdays are supported in part by CBS4.