Charles Leno Jr. is known for playing left tackle for the Chicago Bears, but on Tuesday he played the role of Santa Claus at an All-Pro level.
Leno and his wife Jennifer kicked off their “Leno Claus’ 25 Days of Christmas Countdown” campaign with a visit to Little City to personally give children at all eight homes on campus special and festive Leno Claus T-shirts.
The personal touch made all the difference as Charles and Jennifer took the time to deliver the shirts to the Little City campus in Palatine. The idea for the Lenos’ 25 Days of Christmas Countdown campaign was inspired by something as simple as watching Disney Channel with their child and wanting to make the 25 Days of Christmas a reality by spreading joy to as many people as possible all month long.
After researching different places they could support, they reached out to Little City and knew the mission of helping people with developmental and intellectual disabilities was a perfect fit for the start of their campaign.
“My wife put together a great game plan,” Charles said. “She is a good head coach. I’m the player, I’m just doing my job. But seriously, we are just trying to give back and spread some cheer throughout the holidays because we know how these times can be. I just wanted to thank you guys for allowing us to do this and we just wanted to do the best we can to give back.”
Not only did the amazing gesture provide a memorable experience for all of the children, but the Lenos’ generosity contributed to Little City’s most successful Giving Tuesday to date.
Tina Maraccini, Little City’s Director of Marketing & Communications, said the agency could not ask for a better start to the holiday season.
“We cannot thank the Leno family enough for taking the time to come out, hand out these wonderful shirts and create a truly memorable experience for all of the kids we serve,” she said. “And knowing there are so many causes to support on Giving Tuesday, Little City is truly honored they chose to support us on this special day.”