ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- For the past five years, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and his girlfriend-turned-fiancee-turned-wife, Kelly, have spent a little bit of time each holiday season giving back. They didn’t always make it public. They just wanted to try and help out some people in the Detroit community.
Typically, Stafford and his wife would pick one or two families they had heard were going through difficult times and buy Christmas gifts for them. This year, they picked the families of two police officers killed in the line of duty.
One of the recipients, according to Fox 2 in Detroit, was the family of Detroit Police Corporal Myron Jarrett. He was killed on Oct. 28 during a traffic stop when he was hit by a hit-and-run driver.
"Kelly and I have done that, not always an officer, but somebody, one or two families here or there, during the holidays the past five, six years I think," Stafford said. "It’s just something that we feel fortunate to kind of have the platform that we have. Surely don’t do it to get asked about it in this session, but just happy to hopefully bring some cheer to some people in the holidays that have had a tough time.
"And this year it was a great opportunity considering we did two families of fallen police officers, people that protect us and lost their lives in the line of duty. Something we felt was important and just happy to do it."
Stafford said he and his wife typically spend an hour or two with the families, giving out presents and just hanging out with them. He said every time they’ve gone to a house, the reception has been different, and this year, it was particularly positive.
Words can't express how we felt about this family. I think you can see it in our smiles how happy a night it was. This family has gone through a lot in the past month, but you would have never known it.. they welcomed us into their home with open arms. We are so grateful that we were given a chance to meet them, it was one of the best gifts we could be given. #besttimeoftheyear #amazingfamily #familyovereverything #donttakeasecondforgrantedwithlovedones
"The families that we visited this holiday have been great, and obviously appreciative," Stafford said. "But as much as they’re getting out of it, seeing little kids that just lost their father or mother or whatever it was, have something to be happy about, you know, it means a lot to us two to be able to give back, especially this time of year."
Kelly Stafford initially reached out via Instagram in November to find families in need that could use "a little extra cheer this holiday season," as she wrote. The post has 3,400 likes and 122 comments since she posted the question five weeks ago.