Tuesday marked Los Angeles Rams left tackle Andrew Whitworth’s 36th birthday. So how did he celebrate?
By buying gifts for others.
Whitworth, a former Bengal who signed with L.A. this offseason, bought a bike and helmet for each and every kid at a Los Angeles elementary school. He arrived at Grape Street Elementary in the L.A. neighborhood of Watts Tuesday morning, where the kids sang him “Happy Birthday.”
Then, with the help of City Year Los Angeles, he surprised them with the bikes – nearly 600 of them.
According to Los Angeles Times reporter Lindsey Thiry, Whitworth didn’t partner with a bike manufacturer or a retailer to make the donation.
He paid for all of them himself, even hitting several different Walmarts so that he wouldn’t clear any of the stores’ inventory during the busy holidays.
“To personally, yourself, put your money where your mouth is, I think it lets the kids know that you’re not just saying something because you’re told to be there that day and you’re wearing a Rams jersey or a Bengals jersey,” Whitworth told Thiry. “It’s actually what you believe in. You’re putting your stamp on it. To me, that’s what means the most to them, is that it’s real. And that’s what I want, is for it to be authentic and real to them.”
For nearly 600 kids, the bearded guy bearing gifts arrived early this year.