Fayette County


Devin Hester drops by Fayette’s JCPenney to spread cheer

Atlanta Falcon Devin Hester teamed up with JCPenney and the Boys & Girls Club for a special holiday shopping experience. (Staff Photos by Christopher Dunn)

Devin Hester is used to making football fans smile with his electric plays on the field. With some big helpers, Hester helped bring smiles to a bunch of special kids. The chosen group from the Boys & Girls Club got to tackle some Christmas shopping at Fayetteville’s JCPenney location.

The children participated in a special #JustGotJingled shopping experience provided by JCPenney where they could pick out gifts for their families, but they weren’t the only ones happy to be there.

“It feels great when you get an opportunity to do something like this, just to give back,” said Hester. “This is a big cause.”

Hester is new to Atlanta, in just his first season with the Falcons, but he’s long been a favorite of NFL fans from his time with the Chicago Bears. Many of the kids were too starstruck to talk when Hester, the NFL’s all-time return touchdowns leader, offered to help them with their shopping. Long before he was a star, he was part of the Boys & Girls Club.

Hester talks with a young fan during the #JustGotJingled event.

“I grew up in the Boys & Girls Club. I started going there when I was maybe seven and ended up going until they kicked me out and told me I was too old,” joked Hester. “I know what the Boys & Girls Club can give. It’s a place to go once you get out of school. A lot of kids don’t really have a place to go after school and end up on the streets and getting into something negative. It just has a positive vibe.”

It wasn’t just a big deal in Fayetteville either. JCPenney celebrated the national Giving Tuesday movement by inviting children from Boys & Girls Clubs around the country to select stores for a special shopping experience. JCPenney made a $50,000 donation to Boys & Girls Clubs of America, with Queen Latifah presenting it at the event in Los Angeles.

IMG_9940aThe big day is part of a special #JustGotJingled movement by JCPenney. It’s an effort to get people to share moments when they’ve passed on the holiday spirit, whether it was finding that perfect gift for a relative, paying for a stranger’s coffee, or helping out those in need. The hashtag hopes to inspire a whole movement encouraging everyone to “jingle” it forward this season. The campaign is being supported by JustGotJingled.com, where visitors will find inspiration, weekly challenges, and heartwarming videos demonstrating random acts of giving.

By Christopher Dunn

Managing Editor Christopher Dunn has been with the Fayette County News since 2011, in addition to running Fayette Victory magazine. He is a graduate of Fayette County schools, as well as a graduate of Georgia State University with a degree in journalism. Follow him on twitter @fayettesports.