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Buffalo Bills legends and Canisius volunteers give back to community

By: Connor Pohlman

The holiday season is often associated with giving and taking care of one another. These notions start with the Thanksgiving holiday, and on Nov. 20 — here at Canisius College — some notable faces dedicated their time to give back to the Buffalo community. Members of the Buffalo Bills Legends Community, including Marshawn Lynch, Fred Jackson and Shawn Nelson, held a food drive, where they and volunteers from Canisius gave out free turkeys to those in need. A line of cars littered the street up and down, all waiting to meet the former players and to receive their gift.

“It’s always good to give back to the community,” Jackson said. “To be able to come out and be a part of that in some kind of way is what I always look forward to.”

While doing this charitable work is beneficial for all, Lynch and Jackson both expressed their appreciation for the little things.

“Handing turkeys out is something that a lot of people do, but being able to interact with the people and have conversations with people, that’s what it’s really about,” Jackson said. “When a kid came up to me and told me that he was going to go to school and tell all of the kids he was the football player, that’s when I knew.”

While he is often known for his charismatic personality, Marshawn Lynch was short with his words, but they were just as impactful as any paragraph he could’ve spoke to me. “I like doing it for the kids… that’s really it,” he said.

It was evident throughout the entire day, as Marshawn could be seen joking around and playing with all of the children present. The smiles on all of their faces said more than Marshawn even could have to explain how meaningful the moments were for them.

As it is every holiday season, the theme of helping your neighbor was prevalent the entire day. Jackson explained it in a way that suggested this attitude should be carried throughout all months of the year.

“I think that you can look out and see stuff going on with everybody in the world where everybody can be helped in some way; that’s what I always tell people, see what’s close to you. Look around, what’s your next door neighbor need from you? What does your friend down the street need from you? Support anybody — support everybody. That’s what I always tell people,” Jackson finished.

The wise words from both Jackson and Lynch resonated with me as I’m sure they will for many others. Their message is simple, but one that people can follow to maybe make the holiday season better for anyone and everyone, especially with Christmas around the corner.

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