The Cardinals might be going through some tough times on the field, but overall, they still live charmed lives.
That’s why it was important for many members of the organization to give back on Monday night at the team’s 17th annual “Feed The Hungry” event at Phoenix Rescue Mission.
Team president Michael Bidwill, his sister Nicole, running back David Johnson, tackle Andre Smith and linebacker Dennis Gardeck were joined by Big Red, Cardinals cheerleaders and staff to serve a Thanksgiving meal to the less fortunate.
“I’m worried about playing football and they’re worrying about eating daily,” Johnson said. “It really puts it into perspective. Coming out here and helping out, serving, it really warms my heart.”
Michael Bidwill put on an apron and handed out dinners but said he is the one who benefits from the interaction with people who are so thankful for the meal.
“I always feel like I get more out of it than I give,” Bidwill said. “It’s exciting to be here with the community and seeing that people are uplifted. Even though the economy seems to be strong, there is still part of our population here in the Valley that struggles and is homeless. Everybody we’re serving tonight is homeless, so it’s nice to be able to lift them up a little bit."
The organization handed out Cardinals hats in addition to the food. Johnson began the evening as a server but was eventually engulfed by fans and spent a large chunk of time signing autographs and posing for photos.
Gardeck began doing community outreach in college and said the impact there made him want to become involved in Arizona. He helped out at cornerback Patrick Peterson’s Thanksgiving giveaway event last week and hopes to do more charitable work in the future.
“It just makes you feel good,” Gardeck said. “Any way I can get involved, I’m going to try to. Eventually the goal is to one day be on Pat’s end of it, where I’m giving more than just my time. Early on, it’s just so easy to give a couple hours.”
Images of the Cardinals handing out Thanksgiving dinner to the less fortunate at Phoenix Rescue Mission