Albert Wilson showed Sunday why he's become a success as an NFL player. The next night, he showed what that status has given him the opportunity to do.
It has long been a dream for Wilson to be able to support, encourage and mentor foster kids because he was one of those kids when he was growing up, and Wilson couldn't be happier he's in a position to achieve that dream.
Wilson hosted approximately 150 foster children and foster parents for a screening of the upcoming motion picture "Instant Family," complete with popcorn and drinks.
"(It's) something that I wanted to do, (but) never thought I'd have the opportunity to have a platform to do something like that," Wilson said Wednesday. "To have the opportunity to bring kids out and a couple of my teammates, for them to just chill and watch a movie with me, I know it was a great feeling for them. … I wanted to grow up and be successful so I can help kids that were in our situation. Just trying to be that positive role model.
"I can't go to every house and every home and talk to every kid, so for me to get an opportunity to just have a day that I can take kids out to the movies and talk to them for a little bit and just hang out, it was awesome."
Before the showing of the movie, Wilson addressed the foster parents and children in attendance, sharing with them his life story, experiences and the lessons he learned.
"I spent a lot of time in my childhood in foster care, so it's something truly special to me," Wilson said that night. " I just want to thank the parents. It evidently takes someone special to go out there and raise kids that are pretty much are not their own but become their own. So to the parents, I have the utmost respect for you guys."
The movie, appropriately enough, is about a couple who take in three foster siblings and the trials and tribulations that go along with raising children.
The movie, which is set to be released next month, is based on the real-life story of director Sean Anders and stars Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne as the foster parents and Octavia Spencer as a social worker.
"The movie was great," Wilson said. "Mark is funny, so I knew it was going to be a funny movie. But it's such a sensitive subject. It got a lot of people to cry. My sister was there and she kind of got teary-eyed, from what we've been through as a family. But I loved the family and I'm so happy that somebody stepped up to be able to tell that story.
"Just to get it on the big screen to let the world know what's going on and how many kids are in foster care, like I said, it takes a special type of human being to take kids into their home and dedicate their life to them. Everybody loves to go watch a movie, so you never know who the movies come across from and give them the idea of, OK, maybe I should step into this foster care world and see where it takes me or given the opportunity or idea to adopt a kid. For them to put the movie out there, I love it and I really appreciate it."
The movie, as one would expect, resonated with Wilson.
"It definitely hit some points to where like how real the movie is," he said. "I was just excited to see that they didn't shy away from things. For the guy that the story was based off of, man, my hat's off to him. I have so much respect for him. It was a great movie."