Stephen Curry Gives $10,000, A Truck, And Signed Jersey To Oakland Non-Profit Workers Who Distribute Food To Those In Need During COVID-19 Pandemic
‘Tis the season of giving back. Yet, it also seems like all of 2020 there are those who’ve been giving back the whole time, through each season.
Warriors guard Stephen Curry recognized that and was inspired by people who are “still making time to give back to their communities, even with everything going on right now.”
So, Curry wanted to give back to those taking time to give back in their communities and started a series called “A Gift Of Joy“.
“I decided to team up with my friends at Rakuten to pay it forward and surprise a deserving few with a little joy of their own,” Curry said. “In this episode, we learn about Angelica who is a hard working volunteer at Homies Empowerment, a youth and community development organization based in Oakland. Like many, she has been personally affected by the pandemic, yet she still selflessly shows up to volunteer almost every day of the week! I was moved by her story and had to do something special for her. Hope her story inspires you as much as she does for me.”Steph Curry, YouTube description of Episode 1
Dr. César A. Cruz is one of the founders of Homies Empowerment, a non-profit in Oakland, California dedicated to give toiletries, diapers, and food to those in need, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Cruz said Angelica, a volunteer, came to Homies Empowerment two weeks after the pandemic hit. The non-profit founder said they didn’t know she had lost her job.
Dr. Cruz described Angelica as an amazing hard worker, that she stepped up as a leader in the organization, and that she started coming three days a week to help people, even when she struggled to pay rent and almost lost her apartment.
It was only fitting for the organization to nominate Angelica as the volunteer whom to give back to as part of Curry’s series.
So, as Dr. Cruz and Angelica rolled up to meet Curry, they both stepped out of the car.
“Heard a lot about all the amazing things you’re doing in the community,” Curry said. “Obviously, this is a tough time for a lot of people. But, selfless people, like yourselves, that are looking out for the next person, that’s the only way we’re all going to get through this.”
Curry surprised Angelica with a signed jersey. But, that’s not all. Steph said they’d like to give Angelica a $10,000 check as a token of appreciation for all that she does.
“It’s a relief, especially for my family during these hard times we are all going through,” Angelica said, overwhelmed with grateful emotion. “So I can pay my bills and my rent. For giving me this money, which is of great help to me. Thank you very much.”
But, that’s still not all!
Dr. Cruz also had said their truck was stolen yet encouraged people at the non-profit to stay in the faith, to stay in the work, to stay humble, and to stay as one tribe.
Curry also took it upon himself to not just give Angelica gifts but a set of new truck keys to Dr. Cruz and the non-profit.
“When our truck was stolen, you know, we feed over 2,000 people in east Oakland,” Dr. Cruz said, also overwhelmed with grateful emotion. “And then to go from that to nothing, this is amazing, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, what a blessing.”
And yes, you guessed it, that’s still not all. This is just the start. It’s a gift of joy that keeps on giving as the series has four parts to it that will showcase “individuals across the country who have been impacted by the pandemic.” Be on the lookout for some special guests in the upcoming episodes including, yes, Steph’s wife, Ayesha Curry, as well.
If you’d like to help support Homies Empowerment and the work Angelica and Dr. Cruz are doing, you can do so here.
Charlie Lapastora is a sports/news multimedia journalist who’s reported, written, produced, anchored, shot video/edited on different NBC, ABC, and FOX shows in multiple TV markets, along with digital & new media companies. Charlie has traveled the country telling national sports, news, feature, and original stories on a cable news network, airing on top 10 TV markets, satellite radio, and digital platforms. He is passionate about his faith, family—being a husband to whom he calls the G.O.A.T. of women—about reppin’ his home state of Michigan and Detroit teams (yes, including the Lions), good coffee, and loves how sports brings people together. He’s traveled the world leading and coaching sports camps and has also worked at the Detroit Pistons and LA Clippers’ NBA teams.
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