TAMPA, Fla. - Exuberance, joy, and gratitude are feelings only amplified during the holidays. And, on occasion, all of these emotions flow at the same time.
Nine-year-old Romell Gainey's reaction to receiving a laptop computer on the morning of December 21 was definitely all three.
"A computer! I got a computer!" Romell hugged the gift to his chest and looked skyward.
Romell was one of 65 kids from East Tampa to receive a collection of gifts, all courtesy of the Tamps Bay Buccaneers' defensive line and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation.
The 9th annual D-Line Delivers Christmas event provides toys as well as educational tools. Each kid got their own laptop to help with online learning during the pandemic.
The tenacious nature of the Buccaneer defensive line turns to tenderness when it comes to serving the community. Will Gholston has been involved with the Christmas gifts since he arrived in Tampa in 2013.
His generosity, along with his teammates' and coaches', makes this project possible.
"Most of the guys grew up in a similar background," Will says. "Some guys didn't, but it's something you can really feel good about knowing that you're putting a smile on a kid's face, or you're helping a family who doesn't have something. Like I said, it's a beautiful thing. It's a privilege and an honor to be able to do this."
Exuberance, joy, and gratitude: emotions that connect nine-year-old Romell Gainey and 29-year-old Will Gholston this Christmas.