Chicago Bears defenseman, Akiem Hicks, didn’t worry about the warnings that there might be shortages of toys or that gifts might be stuck on barges this holiday season. In his typical, steamroll-through-the-competition fashion, Hicks took on the challenge of bringing holiday cheer to children in foster care at SOS Children’s Villages Illinois on Tuesday, December 14 at the SOS Illinois Roosevelt Square Community Center located at 13th Street and Blue Island Ave in Chicago. The Chicago Bears defensive lineman is well known at the Villages as someone always willing to step into the role as Santa’s big helper. Once again, Hicks didn’t disappoint as he brought gifts, holiday cheer, and made the season bright for children and families at SOS Illinois.
Akiem Hicks has visited the Villages on a number of occasions, whether for tailgating and getting kids set for school, or helping share a memorable holiday moment. Hick’s ongoing support has made him an integral part of SOS Children’s Villages Illinois extended family. For his incredible efforts the organization presented Akiem with the “Hero Award” in recognition of his dedication to supporting youth in foster care.
Akiem Hicks was humbled at being presented the award and shared that his mother always instilled in him the importance of giving back to others, which is why he embraces the seasonal spirit of giving each year. He was able to share in the joy and happiness for this holiday season with one hundred children and families at our Villages, where they were able to celebrate at a safe, socially-distanced party that included an ornament craft, holiday music, treats, a toy give-away, and other surprises.
“We are proud to be an organization that shares the hometown of the Chicago Bears. The dignity each member of the team and coaching staff exhibits, equally on and off the field, offers the fans here in Chicago a team of which they can be proud,” said SOS Illinois CEO Tim McCormick. “Having Akiem Hicks share gifts with each child is amazingly generous, and yet the reality is having Hicks at our Village is a gift in itself. His presence reminds the children in our care that they are not forgotten and demonstrates the notion that our Village of caring supporters extends beyond our homes, outside our local neighborhood, and across the greater Chicagoland area.”
Hicks is participating in the Holiday Giving Program, which supports SOS Illinois’ children by sharing gifts of joy and comfort during the holiday season. As part of the world’s largest non-denominational child welfare organization, SOS Illinois supports the cultural and religious traditions of every child in its care. The Holiday Giving Program is not tied to any one tradition, but rather to the spirit of love and generosity that many experience during the holiday season. Learn more about our holiday giving program or find others ways to support throughout the year.