PARMA, Ohio -- Christmas came early for a group of elementary school students. Not only did they get to go to Toys "R" Us, but they also spent the afternoon with a few Cleveland Browns players.
"Today, I am taking everybody shopping," said Gary Barnidge, Cleveland Browns tight end. "Everybody gets $100. You can buy whatever you want. Anything you want. It is on me."
For the third year, Barnidge took a group of kids on a shopping spree.
"I want to give kids the opportunity to have somebody to look up to and enjoy everything they can do," said Barnidge. "It is just something that is very dear to me."
Barnidge did not come alone. E.J. Bibbs showed up as Santa.
"It means a lot giving back to the kids," said Bibbs. "I wish I was like this when I was a little kid. It is so fun being around all these kids. It is amazing."
Jim Dray and Connor Shaw also pushed carts around Toys "R" Us for the 20 kids from Stepstone Academy.
"I think what they will always remember, long after this Christmas season, is that Gary and the other Cleveland Browns took them around, had a great time and let them pick a gift that made their Christmas wishes come true," said OhioGuidestone Vice President of Advancement Cindy Naegele.
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But take it from the kids, because it is written all over their faces. Three days before Christmas, turned out to be an unexpectedly, undeniably, unbelievably great day.
"Happy," said six-year-old Delvon.
"It is very great," said eight-year-old Tyler. "I like them to win because we have been losing a lot."
"Barbies," said eight-year-old Kianelys.
"Wrestling," said five-year-old Javier. "What else? I had one more thing."
"This is the best day I have ever had," said Tyler.
The kids were chosen for their hard work. Their teachers say they all come to school happy and eager to learn. They also have perfect attendance and have not even been tardy.
Stepstone Academy is a charter school and is part of OhioGuidestone.