Hundreds of San Diego families will have something extra under the Christmas tree this year thanks to local NBA star, Norman Powell.
The Toronto Raptors player graduated from Lincoln High School and is setting an example by giving back to the community he grew up in. Powell donated $100,000 to help more than 200 families from Lincoln High School to holiday shopping on Saturday.
“With everything that’s going on wrong, at least we have some positivity in our community right now,” said Verneal Smith, the mother of a Lincoln High School senior.
Powell is on the road with the Raptors. His mom and other family members helped pass out the cash.
“I know you’ve heard pay it forward and so every opportunity we’re paying it forward and to our Southeast community, Lincoln High School community, we try to give back and do something there,” said Sharon Powell, Norman Powell’s mother.
Some shoppers went for the newest toys and electronics.
“It’s a game changer for me because we weren’t going to get gifts, but he gave us an opportunity to come out and get Christmas gifts so I’m very thankful for this,” said Abraham Jarvis, a Lincoln High School student.
Other shopping carts were filled with food and other household items.
“It means a lot especially with everything going on with covid, kids doing virtual learning. Today, they get to see some friends they probably haven’t seen since March,” said Smith.
Some of the families chosen for the holiday shopping event have endured through a year of hardships. It makes Powell’s generosity extra special this season.
“Not a lot of people do that: Come back to their community to give back to their community. He’s a Lincoln alumni so I’m very grateful to Norman Powell for this opportunity,” said Vella Jarvis, mother of a Lincoln High School student.
Powell has a history of charitable giving.
On Thanksgiving, he bought groceries for 250 San Diego families. His mother Sharon says the family is considering starting a charitable foundation to help even more people across San Diego.