Skip to main content

Mourning the loss of a mother, family receives act of kindness from Ponders

  • Author:
  • Updated:

With four losses in their last five games, plus off-the-field issues with former MVP Adrian Peterson and other players, there has been a dark shadow blanketing the Minnesota Vikings. But a bright spot appeared Wednesday in the form of a heartwarming story involving a local Twin Cities family and Vikings backup quarterback Christian Ponder.

WCCO's John Lauritsen reports Ponder and his wife Samantha, an ESPN broadcaster, were shopping at a local Lululemon store when a family of three came in to do some shopping of their own.

The family – father Justin Robbins, along with daughters Brianna, 9 and Emily, 8 – was shopping there in honor of the girls' mother Maggie, who died a car accident earlier this month.

Brianna recognized the Vikings quarterback, and after hearing the family's story, the Ponders picked up the bill – anything the Robbins' wanted in the store.

Justin let his daughters pick out one outfit, which was professionally tailored for the girls.

“We really, really want to thank the Ponders and what a great man. Samantha is a great person and Christian is a great man,” Justin told Lauritsen. “It was a great day, it really helped us out."

Be sure to watch the story from Lauritsen below.

This embed is invalid

A fundraiser for the Robbins' will be held Oct. 25 at the Bloomington North Lifetime Fitness. Details about how to help are right here. The event page describes Maggie as such:

"Maggie was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside. She was kind and compassionate to a fault; we will miss her humor, her smile, her laugh, her genuine compassion and love she gave to everyone she met."

In a Facebook post, Justin said his daughters were naturals on camera.

This embed is invalid

In an unrelated act of kindness, current Vikings Everson Griffen and Chad Greenway, along with former Viking E.J. Henderson visited Fargo North High School on Tuesday. According to Viking Update, the school was awarded for their outstanding work in concussion awareness.

Next Up

Redtail Ridge Elementary

Sunbather on the roof triggers shelter-in-place at Savage elementary school

The sunbather told police he was trying to "tan and relax."


The Raptor Center's ambassador, Nero the turkey vulture, dies at 47

Nero helped save the California condors before taking up his post as an education ambassador.

Ben Leber

Ben Leber named new permanent co-host of 'Twin Cities Live'

The former Minnesota Vikings linebacker was introduced Friday afternoon.


APM Reports, maker of 'In the Dark' podcast, nixed by Minnesota Public Radio

MPR said "select programming elements" of APM Reports will be incorporated into MPR News.

storm, severe

The latest on holiday weekend severe weather chances for MN

The most significant severe threats are Sunday night and again on Monday.

Arianna Vos

Charges: Driver was drunk, high in head-on crash that killed 19-year-old woman

The young woman killed in the crash was a college student studying zoology.


Motorcyclist killed in Ham Lake after passing in the turn lane

The motorcyclist was hit by a car turning onto the road.

Keith Ellison

Minnesota gets cut of Ford settlement over misleading ads

The $19.2 million settlement centers on Ford's C-Max hybrid and Super Duty pickup truck.