Monday, May 31, 2010
Nine-year-old Ruben St. Hilaire, Jr., who lives with this mother in a homeless shelter in New York City, sent a letter to his favorite football player, Chad Ochocinco, formerly Chad Johnson, and received an autographed jersey from Ochocinco for his efforts. He then sent a second letter thanking #85. The letter read in part:
"...Mr. Johnson, you really make me happy. One of my goals in my future life is to be just like you when I grow up. I wonder who was your role model when you were little? I have three role model(s) in my life that's my mom, Mr. President Barack Obama and my favorite football player Mr. Chad Johnson. To me you are the best football player in the NFL. May God bless you and your family..."
Ruben's dream was to go to a football camp. Then at the annual gala fundraiser for the Children Mending Hearts organization in Hollywood, young master Hilaire was surprised when he received a certificate to attend Deion Sanders' camp. And unbeknownst to Ruben, his hero, Chad Ochocinco stepped onstage to present the certificate. An added bonus, was that it was Ruben's birthday and #85 led the crowd in singing “Happy Birthday”. (Well I was kind of hoping the surprise was that he game them a house – but I like to dream big).
It was a pretty amazing day for young Ruben, who said it was the happiest day of his life. Although it was a happy occasion, I hope someone helps him and his mom find a home.