‘Give back to my city’: Aggies star DeMarvin Leal serving San Antonio families in need this Thanksgiving

Leal and Salvation Army team up to serve San Antonio families Thanksgiving Day dinner

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip) (David J. Phillip, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – Spend some time with DeMarvin Leal and the one thing he brings up in every discussion is family and get togethers, with Thanksgiving being one of those occasions he’s always looked forward to.

“We all get together. We have food, turn on the music, have good time. We watch some games and do it all in one setting,” said Leal.

And this Thanksgiving, the star Texas A&M defensive lineman and former Converse Judson standout wants to share his love for the holiday — and love for good food — with the San Antonio area community.

Leal, along with the Salvation Army in San Antonio, are hosting “A Day of Thanks” on Sunday where Leal will pass out Thanksgiving dinners to local families in need.

“There’s a lot of very unfortunate families out there that aren’t able make home cooked meals and have personal family time so I really wanted to give back to the community,” said Leal. “It’s going to be nice dinner, just try to make sure everybody’s happy and just having a good time.”

(Left image: AP Photo/Sam Craft; Right image: KSAT Photo)

Over the summer, KSAT Sports interviewed Leal before his junior season at Texas A&M. At the time, he said his goal was not only succeed on the field, but find a way to give back to the community, especially with new NIL rules in place for college student athletes.

Since then, he’s launched his own logo and apparel brand called “Big Ocho,” indicating his No. 8 jersey at Texas A&M, and also struck other partnerships with businesses.

“It’s just been fortunate for me and my family. Being able to help my family out and then give back to my community as well, it’s just been a blessing and I just can’t wait for everything else to start going through,” said Leal.

Leal says he’s only getting started with plans to continue hosting future community events like his Thanksgiving Day Dinner for the San Antonio and Converse areas.

“Starting now means a lot to me, especially going into that next phase of giving back and just being able to have those resources to give back,” said Leal.

Leal hopes his “Day of Thanks” becomes an annual tradition, and shared some of his own traditional favorites including, “turkey, ham and peach cobbler, definitely peach cobbler.”

“I’ve always had good Thanksgivings, very blessed to have those. Now that I’m in a position to give, I want to take this opportunity to give back to my city,” said Leal.


About the Author:

RJ Marquez is co-host of KSAT News Now and reports for Good Morning San Antonio. He's been at KSAT since 2010 and covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms, including his Spurs newsletter. RJ has reported stories for KSAT Explains.