Patrick Peterson (left) and Darnell Dockett each hosted holiday events so needy kids could buy presents.
Darnell Dockett and Patrick Peterson have an important business trip to Seattle on Sunday, but it didn't prevent them from spreading holiday cheer to 100 underprivileged children earlier this week.
Each of the Cardinals stars took 50 kids apiece to local stores and turned them loose on $100 shopping sprees.
Peterson brought 50 underprivileged children to a Phoenix Wal-Mart on Monday in his 'Shop with a Jock' event. The kids from 'A New Leaf' ate dinner supplied by McDonald's and then excitedly searched the aisles for their favorite toys. The third-year cornerback was joined by wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, cornerback Bryan McCann, safety Curtis Taylor and linebacker Kenny Rowe.
"When I was growing up, we'd always beg our grandmothers, our parents, to get different gifts," Peterson said. "These kids are in a different situation. To go through Wal-Mart and pick out what they like, what they want, there's nothing like it."
Dockett was joined by 50 children from South Phoenix for a shopping spree at a Toys 'R' Us in Chandler on Tuesday. Each kid was provided a $100 gift card in Dockett's annual 'Happy Holidays with Nine-O' event. The veteran defensive lineman was joined by Fitzgerald, linebacker Karlos Dansby, defensive tackle Dan Williams, defensive end Frostee Rucker, linebackers coach Mike Caldwell and defensive line coach Brentson Buckner.
Dockett said he was in a similar financial situation growing up.
"We couldn't get a lot, we couldn't afford a lot," Dockett said. "I always said when I got up and got successful, no matter what it was, I wanted to always give back. So I just make it my business to pick out some random kids and do this, also take some to the football games. Anything to make them smile."
Each child was required to spend all of the allotted money, so when one with Peterson was $12 short at the register, he quickly grabbed bags of Cheetos and beef jerky until he reached $100. Peterson said watching the spontaneity and exuberance of the kids makes the event a lot of fun.
"The kids have a wonderful time here," Peterson said. "It's also just a privilege to be in their presence today, to put a smile on their faces, especially this time of year, to get in the holiday spirit. To be around and put a smile on their face is priceless."
Dockett said none of the Cardinals would be in this position if it weren't for the support they receive from the community.
"It's important to give back," he said. "We are nothing without our fans and the people that look up to us. I've been one of those kids before, so I understand."