Recently, Oakland Raiders LB Sam Williams visited Easter Seals Kaleidoscope in Dublin, Calif., an after-school program that, according to the Easter Seals website, is "designed to give school-age children with disabilities safe daycare, recreation and preparation for independence in a structured setting where they can learn and interact with other children." Williams first spoke with the kids and then ventured outside to run around and play catch.
Easter Seals Administrative Coordinator, Zach Lupton, was ecstatic that Williams took the time to play catch with the kids. "It is great to have Sam as a role model for the children to look up to. It is nice that they can see a professional athlete is just as normal as any other person," says Lupton. "The kids enjoyed their time playing catch with Sam and this is something that they will never forget."
Williams could tell the children were enjoying themselves. "They enjoyed the simple things, like me throwing the football to them, running around, just sitting down with them, and me taking the time to talk to them."
The Easter Seals visit helped Williams understand the challenges that some of our youth face every day. "I enjoyed the interaction with kids. They recognized the Raiders and had much respect for me," said the eight-year veteran out of Fresno State. "Their attitudes were so positive despite everything that they have to deal with. They may have disabilities, but they definitely were able to show how talented they were by participating in playing catch with me."
Not only was Williams able to impact the kids, but the kids left an impression on him as well. "I heard that these kids were anticipating this day for over a year, I promise these kids will never forget this day and it was a special day for me to be a part of," said Williams.