Former Oakland Athletic Jemile Weeks signs autographs for fans.
It may be the MLB offseason, but former Oakland Athletic Jemile Weeks is hard at work in the Orlando, Fla. community he calls home.
While other players are resting comfortably, Weeks—recently traded to the Baltimore Orioles—decided to give his time to others. In conjunction with the town of Eatonville, Fla., Weeks' charity organization WeFam LLC will host "Christmas on the Boulevard."
From 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET on Saturday December 21, residents of Eatonville and members of the surrounding communities are invited to attend Robert Hungerford Prep High School for an afternoon of activities that includes meet and greets with Weeks and other athletes from the area.
In a phone interview, Weeks said that in this day and age, it's important for people to come together through events such as these.
This is a way to show the people that there is still hope, faith and charity in our communities. [The purpose] is to spread charity and love at a time I think it’s needed. That’s the overall goal. It’s really to touch the hearts of the people and give them the feel of hope and charity.
Those who attend will be treated to games, crafts, live entertainment, a raffle and more, all of which are completely free. And of course, no Christmas event would be complete without a tree lighting and the opportunity to sit down with Santa Claus himself.
But Santa won't be the only celebrity in attendance.
In addition to Jolly Ol' Saint Nick, Weeks' older brother Rickie of the Milwaukee Brewers and other athletes with ties to the Orlando area such as Dee Gordon of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Nick Franklin of the Seattle Mariners will be on hand. In fact, Weeks hopes to have nearly a half-dozen pro athletes stop by the event.
On peers helping him spread the message of hope, Weeks said "I told them I was putting together a charity event and they jumped on board."
About 400 people are expected to attend Christmas on the Boulevard, though Weeks sounded optimistic that the number could be closer to 1,000.
"This is strictly for the people and about the people. It’s about having the purest form of charity being shown and I want them to know what I represent and what WeFam LLC represents," Weeks said.
If successful, Christmas on the Boulevard could become an annual event.
Likewise, he created WeFam LLC to continuously host community events such as this. Weeks intends to use the organization to "empower communities," through the use of sports, entertainment and music.
If you would like to get involved with Christmas on the Boulevard or WeFam LLC, donations will be possible through Facebook or via telephone. Visit the event's Facebook page for more details.
Nick Houser is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand.