JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye on Tuesday hosted 50 children from the Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Florida for a holiday shopping spree.
The Pro Bowler’s annual “Shop with a Jock” event took place from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Walmart on Philips Highway.
“It’s something I just look forward to every year, bringing smiles to kids’ faces around this time,” Bouye said. “I, at one time, was young, too, so just to have somebody like an NFL player be involved with things like this and just to know that it’s not all about football, that we actually care about them, that’s all that I really care about.”
For the third year in a row, Bouye gifted each child a $100 Walmart gift card to use to shop alongside him and some of his fellow Jaguars players. Bouye said it means a lot to have the support of his teammates.
“They could be preparing for this week. We got practice tomorrow. But they’re here, having fun,” he said. “It’s also building comradery outside of the stadium."
The event included a dinner catered by Jimmy John’s. The children, ages 6 to 17, also received an event T-shirt.
“It’s so fun. Like, our Jaguars are so happy to see everybody,” said 10-year-old Samariee. “I’m so excited.”
As a father of two, Bouye said, it means a lot to him to be able to help out other children during the holidays.
“I always look forward to things like this with my time. Even when I’m not practicing or watching film, this is just fun for me, too,” he said. “I’m still a little kid at heart.”
Bouye said he’s also looking forward to spending Christmas with his family.