Former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal traded in his suit for a Santa Claus hat as he gifted the children of Wesley Lakes Elementary School in Georgia with multiple PS5s, Nintendo Switches and other toys along with coats, backpacks, and lunches.
Shaq gifted 1,000 PS5’s and Nintendo Switches to kids at an elementary school for the holidays.
(via The GaryVee Audio Experience) pic.twitter.com/eazU92kbYs
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In an interview with Gary Vaynerchuk, O’Neal revealed he was able to pull off the major feat by calling in some help from his connections.
“I called, you know, my friend from Nintendo Switch,” he said during the Dec. 22 episode of The GaryVee Audio Experience. “Ordered about 1,000 Switches and 1,000 PS5s. I went to Walmart and got bikes. So you know yesterday, at this little elementary school in McDonough, Georgia, kids were crying, kids were happy. And that’s what it’s all about.”
O’Neal told TMZ in 2018 that he was inspired by his mom to start the annual holiday event, which he’s been doing since the early ’90s.
“Well in 1992, my mother went to the Boys and Girls Club and she informed [me] that 1,000 kids were not getting toys on Christmas and she wanted to borrow some money –– something she never does,” he said.
When O’Neal’s mother asked for the money to buy the gifts for the children, the former basketball player chose to take care of everything himself. He purchased at least five gifts for every child and delivered them in a Uhaul.
In a recent interview, O’Neal also credited his upbringing as the reason why he recognizes the importance of giving back to those in need of assistance.
“My father was a drill sergeant, my mother just was a hard-working woman,” O’Neal told Vaynerchuk. “They taught me the value of giving back. They taught me the value of helping those in need.”
“When I was with Toys ‘R Us, there was an alarming stat: 15 to 20 million kids wake up on Christmas Day and not receive one gift. I felt that one time. I don’t ever want a kid to feel like that…So, as long as I’m on this Earth, I’m always trying to do what I can to make sure kids get good toys,” he added.