CHAMPAIGN-URBANA (WCIA) — Illinois football players traded in their shoulder pads and helmets for baby clothes. More than 65 Illinois football players were at the Urbana Walmart to give back to Champaign County teen moms.

It was through a program called Young Lives. Each mom had $200 to spend. The players helped the moms shop, keep tabs on the total, hold babies and more. More than 50 moms were there and got to shop with the athletes. Illinois head coach Bret Bielema and his wife, Jen, picked up the entire $10,000+ tab as a way to give back to the community.

“It was kind of a new experience to me walking through the aisles I usually don’t walk through and seeing the prices, some things are expensive” Illinois quarterback Tommy Devito said. “I’m looking at diapers and wipes and I’m like hey it costs to have kids but it’s been awesome to go through this experience and have the rest of the guys out here and help make peoples’ day.”

“I was excited to come,” Illinois defensive back Sydney Brown said. “There’s nothing like giving back to the community and helping out these lovely young ladies with their babies and stuff so I had straight baby duty the entire time, holding the baby, rocking her.”

“I had no idea what to expect and it’s blown me away, the players have loved on my girls so well,” Champaign County Young Lives Director Erin Watson said. “They’ve held babies and been so supportive in the shopping process and my girls have had the best night.”

This was the first year of the event. They hope to continue it in the future.

They weren’t the only members of the Illinois football team out in the community. Harrington Law Firm in Champaign partnered with Keith Randolph and Johnny Newton last year, known as ‘the Law Firm’ in their NIL deal. The initiative started as something fun and memorable to commemorate 100 years of the firm, but turned into so much more.

Harrington Law Firm donated one hundred dollars for every sack the Illinois defense recorded this season, which had 28 total. Add in money from t-shirts made by Campus Ink, and they were able to donate $5,000 to the Boys and Girls Club today.

“Even though it’s NIL, giving back to the community was something that I always wanted to do with my career, whether college, NFL or high school, I always love giving back cause I know the kids feel. Just to put a smile on a kid’s face, that’s all I want to do,” Illinois defensive lineman Johnny Newton said.

“Just coming in here, looking around and seeing all the kids with shirts that I have my name and his name on it, it just shows that all the hard work we’ve done is paying off and giving back to the community is always a great feeling,” Illinois defensive lineman Keith Randolph said.

Newton and Randolph both said they plan to play in the Bowl game.