Overton, a member of the Class of 2003 and the rookie long snapper for the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, adopted seven Tracy families and provided baskets of food for each family and Christmas presents for 27 children.
“I feel very blessed and fortunate to be here,” Overton said from Indianapolis on Monday, Dec. 23, the day after the Colts (10-5) clinched a playoff spot with their 20-13 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. “It meant a lot to me to be able to do this in Tracy.”
While Overton could not be in town for the effort, he got help from one of his former teachers at Tracy High, Alayna Carter, and her leadership class.
They gathered food, gifts and Christmas trees Dec. 19 and then met at Tracy High on Friday, Dec. 21, to bring Christmas to seven families. Gabbie Biedinger, owner of La Pink Mobile Boutique, donated her pink panel truck for the day to make deliveries.
Carter, the high school’s activities director, said it was important to have Tracy High students be a big part of the effort.
“(Overton) definitely wanted it to be connected to Tracy High,” she said. “He found it was a way to get high school kids serving their community.”
When not getting ready for games, Overton takes every opportunity be active in the Indianapolis community. He said the Colts have Community Tuesdays and Blue Fridays planned each week for outreach and charity events.
“With Christmas we’ve been doing a lot of shopping with kids,” Overton said, describing the Shop with a Colt event on Dec. 11, when he and his teammates took children Christmas shopping.
“A couple months ago I had the idea of doing it in Tracy,” he said.
He put up money to buy presents, arranged for turkey donations through U.S. Foods and then connected with Brighter Christmas and other local churches and charity drives to find local families who could benefit.
Overton also promoted ColtStrong Christmas through his Facebook and Twitter accounts.
“It turned out really well, and I’ve already got some letters back from the kids,” he said.
• Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.