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Steve Smith Sr. Asks For 'Healthy Achilles' At Charity Christmas Event


Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. could have understandably bailed on this year's holiday charity event in Baltimore.

After all, he's not far removed from season-ending Achilles surgery and is getting around with his right leg propped up on a cart.

But Smith didn't miss giving back to the community where he said he still works (yes, even though he could retire).

Smith flew up from his home in Charlotte, N.C., and even brought his family along, to treat 60 deserving Baltimore-area kids to a $200 Target shopping spree Monday evening.

He was joined by more than a dozen teammates, including running back Justin Forsett, kicker Justin Tucker, safety Kendrick Lewis, defensive end Lawrence Guy and guard Marshal Yanda, as they followed the giddy children around the store.

Smith was his usual charismatic and energetic self. He even seemed to trash talk Santa, saying, "You come down my chimney in the middle of the night, that's going to be your last delivery."

But Smith admitted that his fun-loving side has only recently reemerged.

He said he didn't leave his own house at all for the first seven days after surgery, and when asked what he wants this Christmas, he said "a healthy Achilles."

"It's been tough," Smith said. "If this event was three weeks ago, I wouldn't be as smiley. I was down and depressed and feeling a certain way.

"It's been a real challenge because of the dependency and the helplessness that I've felt. I'll say the burden I put on my wife. We have an infant, 18 month old, and then you have a 36 year old that needs help with things. For the first two weeks, just getting clothes off and doing that stuff was difficult."

Still, Smith has been plugged into the Ravens since suffering his injury on Nov. 1 against the Chargers. He watches all the Ravens' games and tweets encouragement (and frustration with officials) from the couch.

He's also still determined to reach out to the Baltimore youth through his foundation, even though he also puts on a holiday event in Charlotte.

After a pre-shopping pizza party, Smith and the Ravens players pushed carts around the store and chatted with the kids for more than an hour. They worked on their math, calculating how much they had in their budget.

"I found out as I was older that I was an Angel Tree kid, so I make sure that around these holidays, that we intentionally go and give and not just say, 'Oh, we're doing a random act of kindness,'" Smith said.

Angel Tree is a holiday assistance program run through the Salvation Army.

"We had one kid who wanted to get a watch for his grandmother," Smith said. "It's for him to get the opportunity, but also to be selfless and not just think about all the stuff I can get."

Excited to kick off the 11th annual Holiday helpers! We've got surprises for everyone thanks to @OYOSports — Steve Smith Sr (@89SteveSmith) December 14, 2015

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