- NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal hosted a successful Shaq-A-Claus this year.
- The annual event brings several gifts to underprivileged youth in various locations across the country.
- This week, Shaq distributed gifts to over 500 kids in Georgia.
Shaquille O’Neal continued his annual Shaq-A-Claus event this month, which marks the 24th year of the gift-giving event.
This week, the NBA Hall of Famer brought the event to Wesley Lakes Elementary School in McDonough, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta.
Several event partners, including Pepsi, helped distribute early Christmas gifts to over 500 children. The kids received a variety of presents, including snacks, bicycles, toys, jackets, socks, and $100 Walmart gift cards.
The annual Shaq-A-Claus mission started over 20 years ago back in 1997.
His mother, Dr. Lucille O’Neal, called her son to tell him that she was with hundreds of children who were not expecting any toys for Christmas. Shaq immediately responded that he “would handle it.”
Speaking to Fox News, Shaq recounted how he and his brother rented three moving trucks and filled them with toys they purchased from a local toy store. “I was able to buy at least five toys each for about 500 kids,” he said.
He has since continued the tradition through the Shaquille O’Neal foundation.
Shaq shared that he “used to be a high-level delinquent,” and that his home wasn’t “all smiles” back then. It was only when he learned to lead and be responsible after playing basketball that he noticed his mom smile more. It soon became his mission to make his mom smile.
Shaq-A-Claus quickly became a countrywide mission to help underprivileged youth. He hosted similar events throughout Boston, California, Las Vegas, Louisiana, and New Jersey, among others.
Shaq said, “I just want kids to be able to follow their dreams.”
Source: Tank’s Good News