As the students mingled among themselves, Hobbs and Bowers organized boxes of Thanksgiving meals they were preparing to donate. After a few minutes of the students staring in astonishment, the Raiders cornerback decided to break the silence.
"Any of you play football?" Hobbs asked.
"Any of you hoop?" Hobbs asked next.
This question received a better response, with the students making Hobbs aware there was a basketball court in the community center – completely shifting the somewhat nervous reaction of meeting a pro football player.
As more families trickled in, the two players proceeded to donate 30 meals to those in need at the community center. These meals weren't the only thing they handed out, as they took time to take pictures with families and to sign memorabilia for kids.
Using his platform and resources to get involved within the community is something Bower has dreamed of doing since entering the NFL.
"It's something I see a lot of players and other people do," Bower said on giving back for the holidays. "I just finally said, 'I want to do something about it.' I want to say something and try to get out there and do something. Start with this and next holiday, I want to keep doing bigger and better."
The two defensive players expressed that when they think about Thanksgiving, they think about how appreciative they are for their families. They reflected on the wholesome times spent with their relatives during the holiday growing up. It brought smiles to their faces seeing other families come out and allow the Raiders be apart of their family traditions.
"For me, Thanksgiving is all about being around family, having good times, laughs and just being spending a lot more time than we usually do together," said Bower. "We have to remember that it's bigger than us and there's a lot of people who don't have the luxuries that we do. To be able to give back, I think that sets an example for those who are coming up to be where we are next."
"The people here – they smiled, they laughed," continued Bower. "We got to hear some of their stories and what's going on in their lives. Really, it made it more about what Thanksgiving really is, which is families and smiles."
The event was a great change of pace for Hobbs, who's been nursing a hand injury the past month. As his return to the field is around the corner, he appreciated the time he was able to spend with the community – especially considering he saw a lot of himself within the families he met.
"Growing up, you could say we were very underprivileged," Hobbs said. "We didn't have a lot, but we did have family. We had love. Today, I was able to bless some people with something they can bond over and create that love over."
Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Tashawn Bower and cornerback Nate Hobbs passed out Thanksgiving meals, donated by Raiders players, to 30 families at Pearson Community Center.