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Suns, Cardinals players give back to public ahead of Thanksgiving

(KTAR News Photo/Jim Cross)

PHOENIX — A handful of players from the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Cardinals gave back to the public in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.

On Monday, Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker joined about 250 other volunteers in handing out boxes of holiday items at the St. Mary’s Food Bank location near 31st Avenue and Thomas Road in Phoenix.

Booker and the group distributed about 4,000 food boxes in four hours. The food bank was expected to help another 8,000 or so families on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The point guard said he was glad to give back to the community because he has so much to be thankful for this holiday season.

“Just everything really, everyday,” he said. “I look back at situations I’ve been through. Everyday I’m grateful.”

St. Mary’s was still looking for volunteers to help distribute the boxes. Food — including turkeys — can be donated at several sites while financial contributions can be made over the phone or online. Donations are tax-deductible.

But Booker was not the only Arizona sports star to give back on Monday: The Arizona Cardinals served dinner to 400 homeless people at the Phoenix Rescue Mission as part of the team’s Early Bird Thanksgiving.

Michael Bidwill, the president of the Cardinals, said it is part of the team’s Help Feed The Hungry initiative. The team has participated in the pre-holiday festivities since 2001.

On Tuesday, Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson held his first-annual Thanksgiving giveaway at Tempe’s Fees Prep Elementary School.

Peterson was joined by several other players, cheerleaders and the team’s mascot, Big Red, to hand out turkeys, potatoes, fresh vegetables and other Thanksgiving fixings to 221 local families in need.

“It’s just a blessing for me being in the position I’m in,” Peterson said. “It’s just blessing to be able to give back to the community.”

“It’s unfortunate some kids are not even able to experience Thanksgiving,” he added. “So I just want to make sure that these families have a proper way of spending their Thanksgiving.”

KTAR News’ Jim Cross, Ali Vetnar and Corbin Carson contributed to this report.

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