Cardinals running back David Johnson passes out applesauce at Phoenix Rescue Mission on Monday evening.
Many children can get anxious waiting for a Thanksgiving meal. It makes it easier when David Johnson is there to help pass the time.
The star running back was among many from the Cardinals organization who served dinners to the less fortunate during the team's annual "Feed The Hungry" event Monday night at Phoenix Rescue Mission.
Johnson would stop to converse with patrons big and small, undoubtedly giving one particular youngster a thrill after a short conversation and a fist bump before dinner. Johnson's upbringing had its own challenges, and it meant a lot to him to be in a position to make a difference.
"The biggest thing is just seeing people get excited, seeing people be happy," Johnson said.
Johnson, defensive tackle Josh Mauro, punter Drew Butler and tight ends Troy Niklas and Hakeem Valles joined Nicole Bidwill, Vice President of Player Personnel Terry McDonough and others in the organization as the food suppliers at the event.
Team president Michael Bidwill was right alongside them, handing out plate after plate.
"The kids are excited that the players are there, and the moms are excited that the kids are excited," Bidwill said. "So you see people that are a little down on their luck right now, that are trying hard and just need a little bit of extra help. And that's what Thanksgiving is really about, reaching out and helping out people."
It was a festive atmosphere, as the kids were lively and team mascot Big Red received multiple hugs as the guests made their way to the tables. Butler handed out Cardinals scarves to each patron and many put them on right away.
Mauro knew how much the event meant to many people who may not have a traditional Thanksgiving meal on Thursday.
"They're very gracious," Mauro said. "You can just tell how much it means to them. It's a blessing to be able to do something little to help them out. I know it's a big deal to be a part of it, and I'm excited to be a part of it. I'm glad to see the happiness and the joy on their faces."
Images of the Cardinals serving a Thanksgiving meal to those less fortunate at Phoenix Rescue Mission on Monday