By: Talia Bargil
The holidays arrived early for 1,000 families in New York and New Jersey in November, as the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, kicked off its nationwide holiday feast relief.
NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter, joined by New Jersey Nets guard Keyon Dooling and New York Knicks forward Al Harrington, personally distributed USDA Grade A turkeys, signed autographs and shared their warm holiday wishes with the community members who gathered at Brooklyn’s Madison Square Boys & Girls Club.
“Well aware of how fortunate they are, NBA players continue to express gratitude for the opportunity to assist in supplying thousands of families with the centerpiece for a holiday meal. It is remarkable to watch as our players truly brighten the holiday season for so many,” said Hunter. “The NBPA is proud to partner with Boys & Girls Clubs of America for this initiative, and the renowned organization has been tremendous in helping to make sure these gifts get to the people who need it most.”
Throughout the months of November and December, the NBPA and Boys & Girls Clubs, with the assistance of numerous NBA players, distributed turkeys to about 15,000 families in NBA cities throughout the country. In the face of a difficult and uncertain economy, the NBPA and its players were proud to expand its holiday outreach to include as many fans and residents of their team cities as possible.
“NBA players recognize – and often can relate to – the hardship and tough times that a large number of people are facing right now. Providing a holiday meal for thousands of families is a beautiful gesture, and one that is especially appropriate during the holidays,” said Derek Fisher, NBPA President and member of the Los Angeles Lakers.
The national holiday outreach was highlighted by “Miracle In The Nation’s Capital” on Dec. 3 in Washington D.C., a major component of the NBPA’s campaign to brighten the holiday season for the many families experiencing financial hardship. The NBPA, in conjunction with the Executive Office of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Feed The Children, teamed up to deliver turkeys, holiday meals and personal care items to 10,000 Washington, D.C. families in-need.