EL SEGUNDO, CA-If a photo is worth a thousands words, then a smile on the face of a youth rummaging though a toy store near Christmas should be worth a whole lot more. There were plenty of smiling going on recently at the Mattel Toy Store in El Segundo, California, as Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, through the Los Angeles Clippers Foundation, treated 100 youths from the Why Can’t We Make a Difference Foundation with a Christmas shopping spree.
“Anytime you can help kids out who are in need and families who are in need…it’s amazing,” Jordan said. “I love doing it. I love kids. I love putting a smile on these guys’ faces. They put a smile on my face, so it’s great.”
The holiday shopping spurt for the underserved youths from Why Can’t We Make a Difference Foundation was just the tip off for Jordan and his DJ’s Six Days of Giving project. Donating coloring books to patients at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, paying for veterans and their families to take a trip to Disneyland and assisting families affected by Hurricane Harvey, are among the benevolent deeds that Jordan felt moved to do to bring some type of joy to people who are hurting.
“These are tough times right now,” Jordan said. “When I grew up as a kid, I had three younger brothers and a single mom, so I know how tough it was during the holidays. Somehow she always made it work. Any assistance can help a family, and it goes a long way. Me just using this pedestal that we have and just to be able to help kids and moms and dads and the grandmothers who are out here, is humbling.”
The hour plus romp by the youths turned out to be quite a joyous exercise of running around Mattel’s holiday tent in search of the right toy(s) that would fit in under the allotted amount they could spend. As you can imagine, the bustling of activity was turned up. So was the noise level. The excitement and enthusiasm exhibited by the youths was nothing short of unadulterated fun.
“All the kids are here are eating cake pops, hot cocoa, cookies, racing cars and shopping at the same time,” said Jordan.
Doing these types of community events is something he has always wanted to do, Jordan said.
“For me, I just wanted to do something constant and touch as many people around L.A. as I could during the holidays,” said Jordan. “I wasn’t fortunate to have this when I was a kid. I’m a big kid at heart. I have a two-year-old son; I have three younger brothers. I see a lot of my family in these families…you never want a kid to go without.”