Home National news Boys & Girls Club celebrity alumni, brand partners spread holiday joy, invest in next generation of leaders

Boys & Girls Club celebrity alumni, brand partners spread holiday joy, invest in next generation of leaders

by PRIDE Newsdesk
NBA legend, former Boys & Girls Club kid and lifetime supporter of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Shaquille O’Neal, provides holiday gifts and joy to hundreds of kids during a “Shaq-A-Claus” celebration at Shaquille O’Neal Boys & Girls Club of Henry County.

This holiday season, dedicated supporters continue to join forces to support Boys & Girls Clubs of America as they work together to provide safe spaces, caring mentors and life-enhancing experiences to over 3.6 million youth at nearly 5,000 Clubs across the nation, on Native lands and U.S military installations worldwide.

A lifetime supporter and former Boys & Girls Club kid, Shaquille O’Neal, decked the halls of the Shaquille O’Neal Boys & Girls Club of Henry County yesterday as he shared holiday gifts and joy with hundreds of Atlanta-area children from kindergarten to 12th grade at his annual Shaq-A-Claus holiday party. Through the Shaquille O’Neal Foundation, the basketball legend continues his 21-year tradition of brightening the holidays by providing thousands of toys, clothing, meals, and more to deserving kids and teens across the country.

Smiles and holiday cheer spread to California, as Knorr and Boys & Girls Clubs of America enlisted two- time Emmy-winning television host and Boys & Girls Club alumni, Mario Lopez, to unveil the first kitchen at Boys & Girls Club of Burbank. At this event, Mario co-lead a live cooking class alongside a Knorr chef teaching participants how to make delicious and nutritious meals for under $4 per serving, such as the Knorr Chicken Tacos recipe. As Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Alumni Ambassador of Fitness, Mario advocates for youth and their families to be equipped with the essential skills and education for a healthy lifestyle and holiday season.

Additionally, this giving season, JLo Beauty: a beauty and lifestyle brand founded by Jennifer Lopez, donated $40,000 from the brand’s holiday sales to support Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s mission to help all young people reach their full potential. JLo Beauty partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of America through the brand’s ‘Glow It Forward’campaign, which is dedicated to paying it forward to causes that provide opportunities to shine. Club professionals provide resources, support and opportunities to help young people shine every day. Reflecting on a successful career in entertainment, beauty and more, Jennifer Lopez, a national spokesperson for Boys & Girls Clubs of America, credits the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club for providing her first stage ‘shine’ in performing arts, so the funds will be dedicated to this location.

“As we continue to honor the moment of this festive season, express gratitude and embrace the possibilities available for today’s young people, we are honored to have the support of so many influential industry-leaders, celebrity alumni supporters and corporate partners who share our belief that every child has what it takes to achieve a great future,” said Jim Clark, president/CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Today, nearly 5,000 Boys & Girls Clubs provide safe spaces where young people can learn and grow. Every kid and teen deserves access to experiences and opportunities that change their lives for the better and are committed to doing whatever it takes to support youth on their path to a great future. In fact, according to Youth Right Now, a recent survey providing insights on America’s young people: 95% of Boys & Girls Club kids feel they have the skills needed to be successful in a job, while 89% similarly say their club prepares them to persevere when things get hard and 78% of club alumni are satisfied with their career, compared to 65% of adults from the general population.

This year, Boys & Girls Clubs of America is honored to team up with like-minded partners who have strengthened their commitment to youth through giving campaigns, in-store activations and opportunities to round up at the register. These efforts include: Adidas, ALDI, Bridgestone, Cricket Wireless, Forever 21, Kohl’s, and Papa Johns.

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