PHOENIX - People who attended a dinner at St. Vincent de Paul on Nov. 18 got a bit of a surprise, as Phoenix Suns players Cam Johnson and Jalen Smith were on hand to help feed those in need, with just a week to go before Thanksgiving.
At St. Vincent de Paul, families sit down as if it were a restaurant. They order the food, and their favorite Suns players were on hand to serve them. Some kids even got an autograph and pictures in the process.
"My grandson, the one that just ran away, he said 'did you see the basketball players are here?!'" said Rachel Mata. "It is nice because my grandson likes playing basketball, so hopefully he will get motivated to grow up and get into the sports."
For Johnson and Smith, they say it means a lot to them to connect with their fans on this level, and take a break before heading back on the road.
"We get real caught up in our own world. We feel like we play every day. We have a game tomorrow, and then two days after, we hit the road for Thanksgiving, and you can get caught up in that business," said Johnson. "Moments like these remind you that you have a whole world, a whole city outside that care about us, support us. This is our turn to support the community."
"It is something you always want to do as a professional athlete, 'cause you have the resources to help many people out, and just to be here, it is not all about us. It is about the community around us," said Smith.
St. Vincent de Paul does this dinner every night of the week for families, serving up thousands of meals. Officials with the organization say they start the process of preparing their Thanksgiving dinner on Nov. 19.
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