COMPTON-Good things do happen in Compton. The Chris Paul Family Foundation is now a part of that legacy. For a city largely associated with being the innovators of gansta rap, high crime rates and economic and educational depravity, there are good amount of pockets of goodness that are part of the Compton fiber. Major League Baseball runs its Urban Youth Academy out of Compton.
Former students such as Richard Sherman (NFL, Seattle Seahawks), DeMar DeRozan (NBA, Toronto Raptors; Brandon Jennings, NBA, Milwaukee Bucks; Tysoon Chandler, NBA Phoenix Suns), Venus and Serena Williams, and a host of other celebrities, all hail from Compton. That long list would also include former President George H. W. Bush and his son, George W. Bush.
That’s a pretty good crop of folks coming out of Compton. Clippers point guard Chris Paul now has added his name to that impressive name-dropping conversation as he and the Chris Paul Family Foundation teamed up with the Los Angeles Clippers Foundation to reach back and assist the Salvation Army Compton Corps Community Center with a new learn and play center.
That opened up a can of hope and smiles at the Salvation Army Compton Corps Community Center Read to Achieve Live, Learn and Play Center official ribbon-cutting ceremony in June. The revelation of a new outdoor basketball court, a technology and learning center and a spanking new play area also put a smile on the faces of Chris Paul’s parents, Charles and Robin Paul.
“This does my heart good to see these kids as they go around to these different rooms to see the new stuff, and see the difference some of us are trying to make in their lives, “Robin Paul said. “That is really what the Chris Paul Family Foundation is all about. We’re all about reading to achieve and making facilities safe and a place for children to just have fun.”
The Pauls, along with representatives of local dignitaries, introduced the new-look facility to the media. In each room of the tour the atmosphere was the same: young people getting almost as excited as they would be on Christmas Day as they played with all the new stuff they could their hands on.
Charles Paul said he couldn’t think of a better way to give back to the community.
“What better feeling can you have than to bless people that you don’t know, and that you know are in need of things,” Charles Paul said. “It’s always rewarding giving back and to see the benefit, to see these kids enjoying themselves. We always feel like if we’re helping the kids, we’re helping the parents. We hope the parents feel the same way. And if these parents can’t do, we can make a difference in these kids’ lives.”
There is old adage that says charity begins at home. This is where Chris Paul got his foundation. This is where NBA All-Star learned to give back and be part of the community. Giving back is almost second nature to Paul, who has already spread his philanthropic deeds to the Salvation Army in South Los Angeles, another impoverished-challenged community. Paul, through his Chris Paul Family Foundation, has been nothing short of an ambassador of goodwill to these communities.
“We started giving back before Chris even thought about the league,” Robin Paul said. “We gave back when we were young. That was instilled in us as young people, and it just carries on. We’ve always given back.”
A large part of the compassion to unselfishly reach out and to help others comes from the root of their faith, Charles Paul said.
“The church we attended, we used to do this all the time,” Charles Paul said. “We used do feeding families, walking through neighborhoods to see what they were in need of. This started when they were little boys. They used to see us. As they grew up, we had them doing the same things. When we did AAU, we used to reached out the community. It always involved church, AAU. and family things. We’ve always tried to help someone else in need. It may not be a this level, but we’ve always been doing something.”