Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen blesses five families

Dec 23, 2019

For the third year in a row, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen and his wife Caitlin helped provide a merry Christmas for families served by The Salvation Army. (View photos.)

This year’s event was held Dec. 20 at Mall of America, where the Thielens hosted a two-hour dinner party for five families enrolled in a Salvation Army mentoring program called Pathway of Hope. After dinner, the Thielens showered the families with Christmas presents.  

One of the families included Theresa, a St. Paul resident who is raising two of her grandchildren. In the past year she has endured serious life challenges, including a house fire that destroyed everything she owned. Theresa survived the blaze by jumping out of a second-story window. She broke her leg and spent months in recovery, eventually losing her job.

The Salvation Army has been with Theresa every step of the way, providing rent assistance, furniture, and weekly guidance through Pathway of Hope. Theresa now has a good full-time job and is making positive steps forward. But money remains tight, making the Thielens’ gifts a huge blessing.   

“This is helping my family, my grandbabies,” Theresa said. “It’s putting a smile on their faces.”

Many other smiles were seen at the party, as were tears of joy.

“It means a lot to our family to give back,” Adam Thielen said. “We’re trying to bring joy to families who might not have a lot to be joyful about right now. Hopefully it has a trickle-down effect that makes other people want to pay it forward.”

In addition to providing dinner and presents, the Thielens also donated a significant amount of money to give families additional support throughout the coming year.

The Christmas party was sponsored by the Thielen Foundation. Additional support was provided by:

  • Mall of America provided wristbands for children to enjoy rides at Nickelodeon Universe.
  • GameWorks sponsored the dinner and offered free two-hour game passes
  • The Sea Life center at Mall of America gave out free passes to its aquarium
  • Athleta in Woodbury provided gift bags and $400 in gift cards for its store in Woodbury
  • Let’s Dish donated meals and gift cards

Thousands of hardworking families are battling poverty in Minnesota and North Dakota. You can help them win by donating $25 a month or becoming a bell ringer. Join The Salvation Army this Christmas season and #FightForGood.

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