Former LSU pitcher turned pro treats Ashdown kids to Christmas shopping spree

Published: Dec. 23, 2022 at 10:13 PM CST
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TEXARKANA, Ark. (KSLA) - A couple of Ashdown, Ark. elementary students had a day of shopping Friday, Dec. 23 with a former student of the district, thanks to an essay contest focused on Christmas.

Former LSU baseball pitcher, Jaden Hill, now pitcher for the Colorado Rockies pro baseball team, hit a homerun Friday. The Ashdown native was back in the area giving back to the community.

“It is something I wanted to do. I always wanted to give back to the community. I wanted to do it in a fun way. I didn’t want to just pick people. I didn’t have a specific thing I wanted to do, but you know, it’s Christmas time. Everyone wants presents, wanted gifts,” said Hill.

Hill took two Ashdown 5th graders shopping ahead of the holidays. He selected the kids following an essay writing contest on the subject: what Christmas means to you. After receiving dozens of essays, Jalie Woods and Debrad Jones Jr. were chosen for the shopping spree.

“It means spending a lot of time with my mom, who I have not seen for a while and it will be the first I’ll get to see my little brother,” Woods said.

“To support people and give gifts to people,” said Jones.

Each child was given $500 to shop at Academy Sports and Outdoors in Texarkana. This is the first shopping giveaway Hill has held, but he says he hopes to do others in the future.

Hill had this advice for these Ashdown kids:

“Follow your dreams, whether you want to be a professional athlete or want to go get a degree or work any job, so chase your dream, work hard at everything you do, and anything is possible.”