PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- In just weeks, the Arizona Cardinals will be on the field for the 2019 season, but on Tuesday, some of the players were lending a hand to people in need.
Cardinals Charities is known for giving back to the Arizona community, and on Tuesday, some of the players stopped by the MANA House to help out local veterans.
Running Back DJ Foster, Linebacker Dennis Gardeck, and Big Red all know what support feels like, as fans cheer them on from the stands. At MANA House, however, it was they who did the cheering, supporting local veterans with the gift of 76 brand-new mattresses.
"To come here and support the guys, let them know they're cared about, and to donate these mattresses, so they can get a good night's sleep, we all know how important that is. It's just the start of something to help get their lives back on track," said Foster.
Mana House assists in rebuilding the lives of military veterans affected by homelessness, and "Operation Sleep", through Cardinals Charities, is more than just donations, as residents at Mana House also get to chat with the players they see on the field.
"When the Cardinals come in, the attitude of the men really just changes," said Wendy Owens, Charities Manager at MANA House. "They feel more like the men they are, to be able to be rough and talk with the guys."
While they're here, these veterans are working and building a savings, so they can eventually move out on their own. When they do, they can take these mattresses with them. A fresh start, supported by some friendly faces, and a good night's sleep.
"Their eyes just light up," said Owens. "It just -- It brings out a softer side of them."