As most of us get older, we realize that the Christmas season is more above giving than receiving, especially when kids are part of the holiday equation. At a relatively young age, Virginia Tech’s Antone Exum already has a complete grasp of that sentiment.
As part of the swag for earning a bid to the Russell Athletic Bowl, each Hokies player was given, among other things, a $470 gift card to Best Buy. Monday afternoon, Exum and some of his teammates headed out to an Orlando Best Buy for a shopping spree on the bowl’s dime.
At the store, the redshirt junior cornerback noticed three young boys — kids he had never met, incidentally — which set the giving-not-receiving wheels in motion. After initially picking out items for himself, Exum ultimately put the gadgets back and began a search for the kids. Upon finding them, he floored ‘em with a simple gesture: “I got this money and I want you to go shopping and get what you want,” the player told the kids, who the Orlando Sentinel reports are two brothers and a cousin from the Bahamas and just happened to be in the country for the holidays.
And that’s exactly what Santa Exum and the kids did, with the young trio ultimately settling on a PlayStation 3 and a Blackberry phone. The kids wanted some games for the PS3 as well so, with his $470 gift card nearly maxed out, Exum enlisted the help of teammates Tariq Edwards and Marcus Davis, who gave up what was left on their respective cards to the kids.
“I think I was blessed to have a lot of fortunate Christmases when I was a kid, so I hope that every little kid deserves to have a perfect Christmas,” Exum said according to the Sentinel. “I know it was a Christmas that I won’t forget because I won’t forget those smiles and the excitement on their faces when I told them they could get whatever they wanted in the store.”
To help him remember, Exum had a picture taken with the beneficiaries of his generosity and posted it on his Twitter account:
Said head coach Frank Beamer, “I was proud of him. It made someone else’s Christmas better and I think he felt good about it.”
As well he should. And bravo, Antone Exum. We could all take a little lesson from your selfless gesture — this or any other time of the year.