With Christmas right around the corner, people are usually in the giving mood this time of year – and San Diego Padre Nick Hundley definitely falls into that category.
Back in 2009, the catcher and his wife attended a back-to-school shopping event for underprivileged children hosted by a former Padre. Hundley volunteered to help, and realized how good he truly has it in comparison to others. He felt the urge to continue this program, and he’s hosted his own event every year since.
For the past three years, Hundley and his wife have hosted the “Shop with a Jock” event at Target with the help of teammates and members of the Junior Seau Foundation. They provide a shopping spree for 90 high school students from Monarch School in San Diego.
Considering everyone loves a good shopping spree and the opportunity to help others, Hundley said the turnout was “humbling” and expressed his gratitude to his fellow teammates and front office members for putting time aside to help with this growing event.
Monarch is a school in San Diego for homeless kids who are choosing to attend in order to better themselves. Hundley shares an interest in these kids with the other Padres players who volunteer their time for the event.
Hundley, admiring the students’ ability to rise above their circumstances, enjoys giving back and finds this program incredibly rewarding.
"There are some kids who have never been in a store before," said Hundley. “It’s the least we can do to give them the basic needs that might not normally be met."
With the help of Hundley and the Padres, these kids can head back to school with new clothes, shoes, school supplies, snacks and the confidence that comes from knowing the Padres organization has their back.
The kids truly appreciate the opportunity that’s provided for them, and show their thanks during the event – not to mention their excitement about shopping with some of their favorite Padres players.
Hundley and his wife plan on continuing this program, and have high hopes for the future - they want to make it clear to these kids that the Padres organization truly cares about them.
It’s refreshing to see athletes like Hundley help out and give back to their community. Everyone sees the side of players they show on the field, but it isn't every day that we get to hear about their character off of it.
Want to find out more about Shop with a Jock and the Junior Seau Foundation? Check out their official website here.