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McLaurin's birthday celebration with DMV youth allows him to be 'just Terry'

09122023 Terry McLaurin's Birthday Celebration KC40044

Terry McLaurin continues to give back to the DMV area with his second annual birthday party celebration at FedExField, welcoming kids from Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) DC and the Big Brothers Big Sisters National Capital Area. The celebration paints a picture of what support, appreciation and being a kid at heart is all about. 

This year's event provided a unique opportunity for youth in the DMV. CASA DC works diligently to provide advocacy and mentorship to court-involved youth, primarily with foster children and juvenile justice. For McLaurin, this is a cause close to his heart, as he was always taught the importance of being a good person and values the part of him that's a kid at heart. 

"Giving back has always been something that's been ingrained in me since I was a young kid by my parents," McLaurin said. "I truly believe when you can be a blessing to other people, that's really why we're on this earth. If I can make an impact through my words, through my resources, or through my time, I'm a big person on time. Not just giving my resources, although that is a major factor when you're giving back. I wanna give my time, wisdom and experiences, and also be able to hear their stories as well. And just feel appreciative that I'm able to do this, but hopefully, they walk away with a really cool experience."

McLaurin, a team captain, giving back was always a part of his goals, and being able to put his dreams into action has been incredibly impactful on him as well. He cites a mutual learning between him and the kids, reiterating why he continues to put forth these efforts. From his parents to him, and now from him to the rest of his teammates- he's hoping these sorts of initiatives will continue.

"I always try to empower my teammates, especially young guys," McLaurin said. "Just with the impact that you can have in this community. You don't have to be a 'Terry McLaurin,' just the fact that you're in the NFL and made it this far."

While not everyone on the 53-man roster has as much of a public following, there's still a lesson about the focus and devotion it takes to reach this level. Passing on that mentality is a large part of helping kids be their best version.

CASA DC's Division Manager of Programs, Maddlyn Sivilli, talked about how last year's birthday celebration had a lasting impact on the youth and left them counting down the days until this year's event.

"After last year's event, the youth for literally twelve months were asking 'when are we gonna do this again?'" Sivilli said. "They thought it was so cool and have just been so excited in the weeks leading up to this."

The event included bounce houses, dinner, a DJ, face painting and various gifts for the attendees. And, of course, McLaurin's presence throughout the event, where he took time to connect with children and families.

"The youth were just so excited, and it's great seeing them here just being kids," Sivilli said. "They get to have a lot of fun at these events, and it's something to look forward to, and it's low stress for them as well."

Legends Plaza at FedEx Field hosted this celebration. It allowed for a space where McLaurin could have quality time connecting with the children and emphasizing his foundation messaging: being able to be a kid. And all around were kids with smiling faces, excited about the opportunity to have fun and talk to someone they look up to.

"It's very important for young kids to not have to grow up too fast", McLaurin said "And unfortunately, sometimes the circumstances that we all face in life, unbeknownst to ourselves- some of those processes kinda get cheated and so a big part of my foundation is to be able to create opportunities for them just to be kids."

McLaurin's birthday party allowed kids to be kids and enjoy an evening of fun they can look back on as they grow up. McLaurin hopes he can inspire them to accomplish their dreams by spending time and connecting with these kids.

Almost exactly a year ago, McLaurin launched the "Terry McLaurin Foundation," which aims to connect with kids and help them be the best version of themselves. Throughout the different events, he's taken not only his resources, but also the time to create a fun and safe environment for these kids to celebrate.

The time he spends connecting with the community brings out a side of him that's not seen by most when he's wearing his jersey or out on the field for game day.

"It allows me to just be Terry and not 'scary Terry' or a Commander's football player. I'm just Terry at the end of the day," McLaurin said.

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