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22-year-old NFL rookie pays off layaway items for customers in Ocala

ulysees gilbert (cnn newsource).PNG
22-year-old NFL rookie pays off layaway items for customers in Ocala (CNN Newsource)

Ulysees Gilbert III, a linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers, paid off layaways for 60 families in his hometown of Ocala, CNN Newsource reported.

"I just wanted to help out my city a little bit so every layaway is paid off," he said.

Gilbert says he was inspired to do this when he saw other pro athletes paying off layaway debt on social media.

"I about fell out cause I owed a bunch. Buying Christmas toys for my kids and clothes," customer Sherita Graham said.

Graham says Gilbert's act of kindness means more than he'll ever know, according to CNN Newsource. She and her husband are taking care of grandchildren and had $500 worth of items to pay for.

"My husband and I are both on social security and disability," she said. "We got hurt on the job. My heart is overflowing with gratitude for him. I could tear up now."

Gilbert partnered with the nonprofit Pay the Layaway to make this possible, CNN Newsource reported. He paid off almost $10,000 worth of stuff for more than 60 families.

Even though he's just a rookie in the NFL at 22 years old, he's already finding a way to make a difference.

"Came back home and took care of his hometown people by giving them a Christmas," Graham said. "I think that's just wonderful. His momma has done a fabulous job with him."

Gilbert's reason to celebrate the holiday season isn't over yet; the Steelers play the Baltimore Ravens Sunday just before the start of the NFL playoffs.