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Football player takes grieving girl to father-daughter dance

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Image by Vember Photo

Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 02/18/22

"Not only will I come, I want to make sure she feels like a princess," the Philadelphia Eagles player said.

Most sports fans can only dream of meeting their favorite players. But one little girl in Texas, Audrey Soape, got to spend time with her sports hero, Anthony Harris of the Philadelphia Eagles, in the most unusual and heartwarming way.

11-year-old Audrey had just survived the worst year of her young life. She unexpectedly lost her father and then her grandfather. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Holly Soape (@hollysoape)

So you can imagine how she felt when the annual father-daughter dance rolled around. How could she possibly enjoy the night after losing two father figures so recently?

Little did she know that her mom, Holly, was determined to help her little girl enjoy the occasion. Holly hatched a plan that seemed wild, but she was ready to try anything.

Holly reached out on social media to Audrey’s favorite football player, Eagles safety Anthony Harris, and asked if he would fly to Texas and take Audrey to the dance. 

“It’s kind of far-fetched … It’s a big ask,” Holly said in an interview with ABC News. “I just asked if he would come—if he’d be willing to come … We would all do anything for our kids when we see them suffering.”

To her surprise and delight, Harris responded warmly and enthusiastically. “He said, ‘Not only will I come, I want to make sure she feels like a princess,'” she said. 

Harris not only flew to Austin for the dance, but also he covered the cost of Audrey’s dress, shoes, hair, and makeup. 

“He had a car with a driver come to the house and pick her up,” Holly said. “He really wanted to make sure she had the best possible time.”

He also spent time just hanging out with the family and Audrey’s brother, Jackson, who is also a big fan. 

“It made me feel really happy and feel special because he didn’t only come over just to go to the ‘Daddy-Daughter Dance’ with Audrey, he came over to see me, too,” Jackson said.

The night became a joyful and memorable occasion for little Audrey. 

“I was very happy, and I also felt very special because not a lot of stuff happened to people like this, and especially me,” Audrey said.

An act of kindness can make all the difference to a person going through a hard time, especially a child. Harris went out of his way to bring happiness to a grieving child, and it’s inspiring and heartwarming to see. 

“To know that there are people out there who will also help be there for your kids and for you, it’s really encouraging for me,” said Holly. “It’s sort of turned this horrible tragedy into sort of this triumphant moment.”

Tags:
Acts of KindnessChildrenSports
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