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WRCF Hosts Annual Skins Santa Shoppe at FedExField


For Redskins rookie linebacker Cole Holcomb, the holidays are all about spending time with loved ones.

"It's a time to bring the family together and … show them how much you care about them. [My] family's coming up, so I'm excited about that. Get to see my niece. Looking forward to it."

Still, Holcomb's perspective extends beyond just relatives; he recognizes that every child needs some of that affection, too.

"For the kids, show them how much Santa really cares about them as well."

The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation hosted 200 elementary students, who also received Papa John's pizza lunch served by the players and cheerleaders. After lunch, students were divided into small groups where they rotated through four fun, holiday activity stations.

Holcomb's words certainly rang true at FedExField on Tuesday, as the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation welcomed about 200 children from local elementary schools to the stadium for the annual Skins Santa Shoppe.

The event began with students, who were split between morning and afternoon sessions, chatting with Redskins players over pizza courtesy of Papa John's, proud partner and an official pizza of the Washington Redskins. The students came from four schools: Crestwood Elementary (Springfield, VA), Rosa L. Parks Elementary (Hyattsville, MD), Plummer Elementary (Washington, DC.) and Whittier Education Campus (Washington, DC.)

Afterwards, those in attendance were divided into groups and rotated between four holiday stations throughout the stadium. The activities included a Build-A-Bear workshop, magic show, photo booth, arts and crafts, cookie decorating and Santa's workshop, where each student received a personalized gift from Santa and the Redskins.

Along the way, they were joined by chaperones, Marine volunteers representing the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, Redskins cheerleaders and a group of Redskins players that included Holcomb, Derrius Guice, Vernon Davis, Wes Martin, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, Hale Hentges, Danny Johnson, Nate Orchard, Dustin Hopkins, Myles Humphrey and Alumni Josh Morgan and Ken Jenkins.

For Guice, coming to FedExField was the obvious choice on his day off.

"I feel like it's something most of the guys wanted to do and were willing to do." Guice said. "Giving back to the kids, spending some time with them and seeing the smiles on their faces ... means much more to us than sitting at home."

In that way, Guice understands the impact he can have.

"I don't know everybody's story, but I know that this means a lot to some of the kids," he added. "To just come out here and spend some time with the kids, do Christmas events -- food, gifts, whatever it may be -- it's a good thing to do."

Though it's just his first year playing in the NFL, Holcomb has also come to appreciate his role within the community.

"It's been an amazing time here seeing how excited the kids get, having that opportunity just to make somebody's day," he stated. "I was just talking on the way in [about] how awesome it was being that little kid having a field trip. And to have this opportunity to go see a football team's stadium, check out the locker room, go do these fun activities on the holidays, it would've made my day [and] it made their day."

As for those who work with the children on a regular basis, the opportunity wasn't lost on them either.

"Two of my kids got interviewed while sitting in the players' lockers and their faces, their smiles were just insanely huge," said George Gowe, a physical education teacher at Rosa L. Parks Elementary.

"A lot of them don't really get to go outside of the school and see things, so this means a lot for sure," Gowe added. "These kids need to see themselves receive things and how important it is to be kind to others during this time."

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