All written content in this post is the original work of Brian Skinnell, Redskins.com intern.
Leonard Hankerson knows there’s more to life than just football.
Hankerson on Tuesday morning joined three Make-A-Wish Foundation children at a local Macy’s department store for the Make-A-Wish Foundation Believe Campaign Kickoff. The group built gingerbread houses and wrote letters to Santa.
“I wanted to be able to come out here, give back to the kids, show them love,” Hankerson, who has kids of his own, said. “I know it means a whole lot to them also just to have an NFL player to come out here and sit with them.”
Joining his new friends at a table full of icing, candy canes, mints and other assorted holiday treats, Hankerson and the group got to work building their houses.
By the end of the event, there were gingerbread houses galore amidst quite the mess of holiday sweets.
On one side of his creation, Hankerson put his initials. On the opposite side, he added his number.Both features, though, were color themed for the Redskins and the University of Miami Hurricanes, his alma mater.
“I was just doing it on the fly and things came to mind as I was going,” he admitted of his decision. “I just decided to put an ‘L’ and an ‘H’ on it and an ‘85’ and it came together.”
After putting the finishing touches on their houses, the kids – and Hankerson – wrote letters to Santa.
For each letter written throughout the holiday season, Macy’s will be donating one dollar to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
An active member in the Redskins community, Hankerson enjoys volunteering his time in order to better someone else’s day.
“It’s not always about football,” Hankerson said. “It’s about giving back, helping the kids out, making gingerbread houses and just putting a smile on their faces.”
Now that he’s created his first ever gingerbread house, he believes it will become an annual event that he does with his own kids.
“I think so,” he said. “It’s very fun just to see what you can do to build a house and decorate it. It’s fun.”
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