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Cincinnati Bengals Community Corner: Sam Hubbard, DJ Reader, Ja'Marr Chase And Others Make A Difference As The Holiday Season Begins

A number of Bengals players are making their impact felt both on and off the field.

Cincinnati is in the thick of the playoff picture, but that's not stopping a handful of Bengals players from spending their free time giving back to the community in November as the holiday season began.

The Sam Hubbard Foundation Prepare and Donate Thanksgiving Meals for Cincinnati Area Communities

Hubbard and the Sam Hubbard Foundation teamed up with The Passion Plate to prepare holiday meals and distribute them at two separate places in the Greater Cincinnati area.

The meals contained turkeys and fresh side dishes. The side dishes were made by Chef Kym Wilbon, Hubbard's personal chef and owner of The Passion Plate. These included mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and other Thanksgiving meal essentials.

Josh Tupou, Zach Carter, Cam Sample, and Jeff Gunter as well as Hubbard's family and friends joined the Bengals' captain throughout the day to lend their hand.

“It’s important for my teammates and me to step up and show the communities that give us so much that we really do care,” Hubbard said. “It gives us a sense of ownership and responsibility for our city—we want to leave it better than we found it.”

The first stop on the day was at Grandview Elementary School in the Bellevue Independent School District. 60 families received the prepped meals as well as mini football souvenirs.  

The Sam Hubbard Foundation also hosted a backpack drive to donate 650 backpacks and school supplies to each student in the Bellevue Independent School prior to the start of the school year in August.

Hubbard and company ended the day handing out about 40 more meals and memorabilia at the Lighthouse Sheakley Center for Youth. 

The center offers shelter to young adults (ages 18-24) who are motivated to move from homelessness to safe and stable housing. Each young adult works with a case manager who helps the young adult develop a case plan and implement it.

The Cincinnati native took time to pose for pictures and sign autographs with fans at both locations.

DJ Reader Launches 'Reader Resource Room' With Local High School

Reader is launching the 'Reader Resource Room' as part of his foundation, A Son Never Forgets Foundation (ASNFF) with Shroder High School in Cincinnati.

The new initiative will provide students with essential needs and information that will support their success. ASNFF will supply resources such as shelving and initial ordering and organization of inventory as well as establish communication and distribution plans for the school to effectively run the resource room.

ASNFF has committed to equip further support by hosting a back-to-school drive before the 2023-2024 school year. Students will be given academic supplies to set them up for a successful year. They will be able to pre-register for the dental, vision, and health screenings too.

Reader's goal is to open resource room in other schools, including his hometown of Greensboro, North Carolina.

The defensive tackle hosted an inaugural bowling event at the Main Event in West Chest on November 7th to fund 'Reader Resource Room'. The event raised over $10,000 for ASNFF's new program.

A number of Bengals players showed their support by participating in the event. During the night, Cincinnati's Mayor, Aftab Pureval, declared November 7th as "DJ Reader Day" for his contributions to the community. 

To learn more about Reader and A Son Never Forgets Foundation, go here.

Ted Karras Creates 'The Cincy Hat' to Benefit The Village of Merici

Karras has been sporting an original designed hat most prominently seen with the media in the locker room. It has much more meaning than the latest fashion statement.

The offensive linemen created 'The Cincy Hat' with the objective that 100% of proceeds from its sales to go directly to The Village of Merici. They provide services, coaching, and independent housing to adults with disabilities.

"I wanted to give a fun gift to my new teammates when I moved to Cincinnati," Karras said. "The Cincy Hat has taken on a life of its own and I hope to create an income stream for the Village of Merici, a nonprofit living community for Adults with disabilities. The Village has a special place in my heart. Please support with a purchase!"

For more information on the cause or to purchase a hat, go here.

Ja'Marr Chase Surprises Families with Turkeys at Local Kroger

Chase hosted a surprise turkey giveaway at Kroger in Oakley on Monday as part of his partnership with the company. The first 200 families received a free turkey.

"I have love and support for the city of Cincinnati, and I want to give back to the community," Chase said. "That's what Thanksgiving's about, making sure everyone's having a great meal, full at the end of the day—I love eating so why not give back to the community for a good reason."

Chase also signed autographs and took pictures with families who received the turkeys as well.

Bengals and Campbell's Team Up To Gift Local High School Students Campbell's Chunky Soup

In partnership with Campbell's, members of the team and mascot 'Who Dey' visited DePaul Cristo Rey High School in Cincinnati to bring soup to the students prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. 

They were sent home with bags full of Campbell's Chunky products and Bengals mementos.

Clay Johnston, Cal Adomitis, Allan George, Keandre Jones, and Domenique Davis were among the players that toured each classroom, took pictures with students and staff, and signed autographs as part of the day.

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