Families in South Philly will be having an exceptionally merry Christmas this year courtesy of Philadelphia 76ers’ own Ben Simmons.
6abc reports on Simmons’ gesture of good will as he took time off from making shots on the basketball court to help families in need celebrate the holiday season. Arriving at a Target in the south side of the city on Thursday, he gifted four low income families with a $1,000 shopping spree to buy whatever they liked from the store.
Simmons had the idea to do this for some time, mentioning that it was a childhood dream of his to be able to give back to his community like this. Seeing December as the right time to make that dream a reality, he sprung into action. Simmons was able to do this thanks to the local non-profit Unity in the Community, which helps people in need in the South Philadelphia community get the assistance they deserve to change their lives. In this case, they helped Simmons in finding the people who could really use the gifts he gave them the most.
Simmons met with the families and helped the kids pick out toys they liked. According to Latoya Nelson, a single mother and member of one of the families he shopped with, his gift essentially made Christmas happen this year. Struggling to get by on a part-time salary and having lost two family members earlier in the year, Nelson feared she wouldn’t have the money to buy gifts this year, but she no longer has to worry about that. Now, her biggest concern will be spending time with loved ones. “This is definitely a great help because I didn’t know how I was going to do it.”
To learn more about Unity in the Community or to donate to the cause, you can visit their website