Baltimore Ravens wide receiver DeSean Jackson and cornerback Kevon Seymour pose for a photo with kids and Santa at the Baltimore Ravens Holiday Helpers event. Photo courtesy of Baltimore Ravens.

Christmas came a few weeks early for a group of Baltimore children. Baltimore Ravens defensive end Calais Campbell and his organization the CRC Foundation hosted the 17th annual Holiday Helpers event Monday night.

Sixty underserved youth from the Police Athletic League (PAL) and the Bridges organization were pre-selected and bussed to Target in Owings Mills to each go on a $200 holiday shopping spree. 

The highly anticipated annual event was placed on hold due to the pandemic, so this is the first in-store Holiday Helpers since 2019.

Campbell was joined by 28 teammates to serve as the kids’ personal shoppers, including safety Chuck Clark, inside linebacker Roquan Smith and offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley. 

The evening started with a pizza party provided by Papa Johns and gingerbread men cookie making. Later, Calais made the surprise announcement that each kid would receive $200 to do holiday shopping, which was fully funded by the defensive end.

After the youth screamed with excitement and the shock wore off, they were each paired with Ravens players or The Baltimore Ravens Cheerleaders to spend their $200 in the Target store however they desired. 

Baltimore Ravens Holiday Helpers event. Photo courtesy of Baltimore Ravens.

Players encouraged the young shoppers to get gifts for their family members, so the event not only provides a memorable holiday experience but it also helps them understand the importance of giving to others and doing something special for their families.

Santa and Mrs. Claus hung out at the photo booth and the team’s mascot, Allan, was also in attendance spreading holiday cheer.

Latrice Hill is a Baltimore native and Morgan State University graduate who loves all the great things this city has to offer. She worked with WMAR 2-News as an Assignment Desk Editor before she joined...