Vikings safeties Harrison Smith, Andrew Sendejo, Anthony Harris and cornerback Terence Newman on Tuesday participated in shopping sprees for 10 underprivileged youth from West Metro communities.
The defensive backs pushed carts around the downtown Minneapolis Target store where the young people were given an allotment to pick out toys, sporting goods, electronics, clothing and Super Bowl LII memorabilia to brighten the holidays.
In addition to being able to select what they wanted, the young people had fun dialogue with the players, asking questions about football and life in general.
"It was fun to go on a shopping spree, something I always wanted to do as a kid," Sendejo said. "It feels awesome to provide that for someone now. Scooped up some toys, some Nerf guns and other stuff. Everyone knew what they wanted and didn't really mess around."
Sendejo and his group made a beeline for the toys and sporting goods, while the other three groups took a lap before heading that way. He had a considerable amount of laughs with the youth. "Awesome kids, good personalities. They're not scared of anything or saying anything," Sendejo said. "It's always a funny time when you're with kids. You never know what's going to happen, what's going to get said. Stuff like this keeps you young." Smiles broadened with every minute the young people spent with the players in the store's aisles.
"You can tell that they're good girls and guys," Smith said. "I almost had to force them to spend their money. They're very appreciative and well-mannered kids. It's great to see. It makes me appreciate how fortunate I am. Material things aren't everything, but it's always fun to get gifts around this time of year."
Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen and his wife, Tiffany, also treated a group of young people to a Target shopping spree.