GREEN BAY, Wis. – Linebacker Christian Kirksey deals out hits in the middle of the Green Bay Packers’ defense. On Thursday, his generosity will be a hit on 300 Thanksgiving dinner tables.
Through his Kirkoland Foundation, Kirksey donated 300 turkeys that were given away at Paul’s Pantry on Tuesday morning. With Festival Foods providing the sides, it will be a happier Thanksgiving for those in need.
“I just want to be a part of community and help out where I can,” Kirksey said.
Kirksey was a major part of the Cleveland community during his six seasons with the Browns. In 2018, he was the team’s nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. He did turkey giveaways while in Cleveland and wanted to bring that tradition to his new home.
“It’s important to me because football has blessed me with a lot of different things, a lot of opportunities,” said Kirksey, who was unable to attend because of COVID-19 safety concerns. “Green Bay welcomed me with open arms. Me being blessed to play this sport, I just wanted to give back and pay it forward. You never know what somebody’s going through. Helping somebody out, it just makes me feel good when I can be a part of somebody’s life or impact somebody’s life. It’s the holiday season. Everybody should feel happy and everybody should feel like they’re enjoying the holidays. Turkey is one of the main traditions on Thanksgiving. Everybody deserves to have a turkey.”
Not long after signing with the Packers in free agency in March, Kirksey donated pallets of peanut butter, tuna, and bottled water to Paul’s Pantry to help fill the shelves amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are so blessed to have such generous people in our community,” Paul’s Pantry executive director Craig Robbins said. “Christian really personifies our motto of ‘Neighbors feeding neighbors.’ What a great example of giving – especially this time of year.”
Kirksey’s generosity stems from his parents.
“I was just taught as a kid that everybody should lend a helping hand,” he said. “If everybody does that, hopefully the world will become a better place.”