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Watson takes parents on shopping spree

Posted Dec 18, 2012

MACEDONIA -- Through his work with the Cleveland City Mission, Browns tight end Benjamin Watson was able to take 25 parents/guardians on a shopping spree on Monday evening.

MACEDONIA -- Browns tight end Benjamin Watson and his wife, Kirsten, spent Monday evening giving back to the Cleveland community by taking 25 parents and legal guardians on a shopping spree for their children.

Through their One More Foundation, the Watsons were able to reach out to the City Mission and affect the lives of nearly 100 Cleveland-area children with Monday’s event.

“It’s a privilege and an honor,” Watson said. “Something my parents taught me when I was young was you always give when you can. It’s just a blessing that my wife and I are able to bless other people.”

Watson said making children smile is great, but he really enjoyed watching the parents go through the store and pick out toys and games for the holiday season.

“They’re the ones that labor day-in and day-out and they don’t know if they’re going to be able to get what their kids want for Christmas,” Watson said. “It’s important to see them and let them be the heroes in their kids’ lives, and just encourage them and tell them they’re doing a good job. It may be tough right now, it may be hard. Everybody goes through their different trials, but they’re doing a good job. I tell them thank you for the sacrifices that they make for their kids.”

Prior to the shopping spree, the Watsons delivered messages of self-esteem and value to the participants. They also enlisted the help of Arin Hodges, wife of punter Reggie Hodges, to talk about self-worth and overcoming challenges.

“We’re bombarded with so much stuff from the outside affecting our self-esteem, telling us what we’re worth, that we’re not worth something,” Watson said. “Our whole message is that God sees all of us the same. God values all of us because He created us. If you understand that, you can pass that on to your children and you can leave that legacy because you can understand you’re worth it.”

The Watsons and Hodges’ were joined at the event by defensive linemen Jabaal Sheard and Frostee Rucker, defensive backs Usama Young and Sheldon Brown, fullback Owen Marecic, wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, and linebacker Emmanuel Acho. Young was joined by his wife, Gia, and Brown’s wife, Jenny, also participated in the event.

“I didn’t know how many guys were going to show up because we’re a little bit far from where a lot of guys live, but it just goes to show how much these guys care for other people,” Watson said. “The one thing I can say about the guys on this team is they will show up for a charity event. Anything that these guys can do to help other people and spread love to other people, they’re there to do it.”

Massaquoi said he came to Monday’s event because it was “a special cause with great people.”

“Ben’s a great person with the things that he does in the community,” Massaquoi said. “It’s special just to be a part of something like this. He’s like a big brother to me, somebody I could look up to, somebody I could rely on for good advice and good guidance to become a better person all-around. Watching how he operates with his family and professionally, you can’t go wrong trying to emulate him.

“Just to be able to help others so they can go on and help other people, it’s a big family. Whether it be Ben or the people I meet here, it’s just a great cause and it’s great to get to know other people and help people out.”