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Taylor: 'As long as they smile I am cool'

Cornerback Ike Taylor stood back for a moment and just watched. A smile crept across his face, but he didn't stand still for long. He couldn't. There was shopping to be done and his help was needed.

Taylor hosted 50 children from KidsVoice of Pittsburgh on a shopping spree at WalMart as a part of his annual "Shop with a Jock." Taylor provided each child with $100 to spend, giving them excitement and joy that they don't often have.

"The kids have their own personality," said Taylor. "They get to meet some of my teammates, it's giving back to the community. We share our stories with them, if they want to open up and share their stories with us."

Taylor invited some of his fellow defensive backs along, including Will Gay, Cortez Allen, Antwon Blake and B.W. Webb to join in the fun. Each player took a group of kids around, with purchases ranging from toys and clothes to electronics and even snacks.

And while they were buying things for themselves, they weren't forgetting family members as many were picking up Christmas gifts for siblings. 

Ike Taylor hosted his "Shop with a Jock" event. He and KidsVoice of Pittsburgh gave children a shopping spree with $100 to spend.

"There comes a point in time in life, usually when you are older, when you realize it's not about you it's about family," said Taylor. "These kids are young and see that. They could be selfish, but they aren't. They think I am going to disregard everything I want and share and do something to make them happy too."

KidsVoice provides a voice for abused, neglected and at risk children, helping to guide many of them through the court system and assuring that all of their needs are met. On this night it was Taylor who made sure the kids' needs were met.

"It's a load off their shoulders," said Taylor. "Kids don't have the kind of money to do what they want and it helps a lot. It brings a smile to my face to see them smile. Smiling is good for the heart and body. If we can smile more than frown we are winning. As long as they smile I am cool."

Looking around, it's safe to say, smiles were plentiful.

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