This time of year there are all kinds of events where NBA players hang out with kids, sign autographs and hand out gifts. There's usually some corporate sponsor and some media and the worry that the whole thing is as much about making them look good as helping the kids.
But read Jesse Blanchard of 48 Minutes of Hell writing about the event some Spurs recently attended on behalf of St Peter-St. Joseph's children's home (in the words of the non-profit's website, it's "a home to children who have suffered as victims of sexual and emotional abuse, neglect, poverty and broken homes.")
Director of development Connie Thomas says some of the kids they care for have never even been to school, and almost all of them are behind educationally. Blanchard writes:
There were games, a dinner, presents, and of course, the opportunity to meet Spurs players.
“I know it’s corny, but this is a big deal. These kids haven’t had much of a Christmas before,” Thomas said. “We’ve had times where we’ve given kids stuff to decorate a tree, and they’ve never decorated a tree before.”
“I’ve had children sit there and stare at the gifts, not believing it’s for them,” she added. “I’ve seen kids cry because they couldn’t believe it was really theirs to have.”