Oakland A's athletes Rajai Davis and Brad Ziegler made Christmas come a little early for some special children last weekend at Stoneridge Shopping Center.
The players helped fulfill "Santa Wish Lists" Friday at the mall that were filled out by 10 children from the Henry Robinson Multi-Service Center in Oakland. Five boys and five girls from the shelter each received a $200 gift card to Stoneridge Shopping Center to purchase items of their choice off their wish lists from any store in the mall. In addition, each child received a $50 Stoneridge gift card to purchase an item (or items) for a family member, friend or person of their choice. The children were then treated to lunch, courtesy of P.F. Chang's, where they received autographs and took photos with the players. The event was sponsored by the Oakland A's Community Fund and Stoneridge.
The Henry Robinson Multi-Service Center is a transitional housing program that serves 54 homeless families for up to two years. The children from this center were chosen to receive the shopping experience by the Lend A Hand Foundation, a foundation that offers youth in transition (shelters, foster care, and other low income youth) the opportunity to experience educational, sporting, and cultural activities not otherwise available to them. The players spent most of the shopping time in the Apple store and Game Stop as iPods and Nintendo DS were the hot items of the day, according to Carrie Williams, who is marketing manager at Stoneridge.
"It was really fantastic and wonderful to be able to treat these children to a shopping spree like this," she said.