Titus O'Neil spreads holiday cheer at home in Florida

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December 23, 2011

Titus O’Neil is giving back this holiday season. The NXT Rookie spent four days near his home in Florida helping those in his community who need it most. (PHOTOS)

“I have my achievers program down in Tampa, Fla., to help kids who read under their grade level. We gave out some gifts to them on Thursday,” he said. “Then on Friday we gave out some gifts to some kids in an underprivileged community in Tampa.”

But Titus didn’t stop there. The giving continued throughout the rest of the weekend. He handed out more than 800 gifts!

“On Saturday, our church, Revealing Truth Ministries, had a 'Joy of Giving' Service, so I participated in that also. We gave out gifts to more than 450 kids, anything ranging from Xbox 360s to video games to bicycles,” the NXT Rookie explained. “Basically, they just pulled a number and they came up and picked what they wanted from the stage. It was a really good experience.”

Finally, on Sunday, O’Neil and some of his fellow former University of Florida graduates spread holiday cheer to some of the senior members of the community.

“We closed it out with the Tampa Gator Club’s ‘Elves for the Elderly.’ It’s a program where we go around to different nursing homes,” he said. “For the elderly in the Tampa Bay area who don’t have family around there, we went and gave them gifts – some basic stuff that they needed, like socks and T-shirts. We gave them some WWE gear, as well.”

O’Neil’s motivation is simple – it’s a way for him to give back as a thanks to those who helped him when he needed assistance.

“When I was younger, I grew up poor. I was a beneficiary of people giving in my life. Had they not done that, I would not have been able to get the few things I had as a youth,” the former NFL player explained.

“I’ve done it my whole life, doing charity work. I’ve been associated with the YMCA and the Boys & Girls Club in school because those were things I benefited from as a youth,” he said.

“So I always had it in my heart that if I had the opportunity to give back, I would. I would try to do the best with what I had. Even if I wasn’t a part of WWE, I’d still be doing it.”

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