New York Giant Saquon Barkley gave a gigantic gift of hope on Wednesday
LOWER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- What do Mayor Eric Adams, Saquon Barkley and Santa Claus have in common?
This holiday season, they are each giving the gift of hope.
Adams and Barkley visited the Henry Street Settlement on the Lower East Side Wednesday, to deliver holiday cheer to families. The cheer was delivered in the form off dolls, board games and autographed photos of Barkley.
Henry Street Settlement is a nonprofit organization that offers everything from social services and arts to healthcare programs. They also provide transitional housing.
Henry Street serves hundreds of families each night, with the goal of getting them on their feet. In 2021, they helped place about a third of the families in permanent housing.
Barkley can empathize with the mission of Henry Street more than most because he was once homeless himself.
"I've had my struggles. I've had my adversities," he said.
Adams joined Barkley in the gift-giving, hoping that it would offer them hope, in addition to joy.
"A lot of our young people believe that when they hit those obstacles that it's the end of the road. It's not," said Adams. "It's just the bend of the road."
If the families at Henry Street needed any proof that their road has a path forward, all they needed to do was look at the Giant in front of them.
"He made the turn, they can make the turn," Adams said.
But for the children in attendance, their eyes were not on the road ahead. Instead, they were focused on the prize right in front of them.
Chole Wade, one of the young recipients said, "I feel like I'm happy because I've never been here. It's my first time and I get two toys!"
To her mom, Kayla Wade, it meant even more.
"These are blessings because you know being in our situation, expecting not to be able to provide the way you want to provide, and people come and they give back, it's very good," she said.
The one thing that brought more hope than the toys themselves, was the message Barkley shared.
"You could do whatever you want. I truly believe in that. Whatever you want to accomplish. You want to be an NFL player, if you want to be a doctor, if you want to be the first person to land on Mars," he said. I really feel like all that's possible if you have the right mindset, (and) surround yourself with the right people."
To see how you can get involved and support the missing of the Henry Street Settlement visit their website.