Vance McDonald Holds Back Tears Talking About Giving Back to the Community

Noah Strackbein

PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers were able to give back to the city of Pittsburgh on Tuesday night as they joined Convoy of Hope at Heinz Field to provide good and services to families. As the holidays approach, tight end Vance McDonald and his teammates spent the evening with children and their families, and give them plenty of gifts in time for the holidays. 

For McDonald, giving back to the city of Pittsburgh is something that he loves to do. Being a part of Convoy of Hope since 2014, he's helped organize several events, this being the first in Pittsburgh. Seeing the joy on the children's faces brought a tear to his eye as he saw just how much he's able to help these fans. 

"It's something that you don't even really think about, at all. When you're an NFL player you take it for granted, and then when people walk through you're like," McDonald said fighting back a tear. "I've only been at the show section so far, which is like, this is where a lot of the action is, because people want new footwear and stuff. To see them explode and get so hyped up and overjoyed just about getting a new pair of shoes, it hits you, it hits you really hard. It's hard to explain, but this feeling you get when you're handing out those shoes, it's like, they're just so excited to be around the guys. It's really special."

The Steelers had a bunch of players attend the event. Walking through the crowd, signing jerseys and taking pictures, McDonald's teammates filled hundreds of children's night with joy. 

Players joined kids in creating crafts and handing out shoes. Moving around from stage to stage, McDonald said his fellow Steelers were having just as much fun as the fans around them. 

 "When the guys get here and they start interacting, they're at different stages and they move them around, when they're doing crafts with kids, passing out shoes," McDonald said. "Just high-fiving and talking about the balloon animals that these kids are wearing on their heads. You can see that they're having a great time."'

As for his favorite part - McDonald loved interacting with the crowd. As the fans came up to him, he was thrilled to get them fired up and send them to his teammates. The rest of the Steelers loved hanging out with the kids, and McDonald made sure he was giving them every once of energy he could draw from the kids.

"Honestly, being in the middle of the walk-through area and just trying to entice people and get everyone all hyped up and just seeing how the players handle them," McDonald said. "I was standing outside the shoes, get everyone hyped up and send them to shows, and Ola [Adeniyi] and Minkah [Fitzpatrick] and Terrell [Edmunds], and all the guys were over there and it's so funny. They're taking shoe orders and getting everyone fit. That's my favorite part, just interacting with the people that came here."