CHARLOTTE, N.C. (News Release) — Despite a global pandemic and the NBA season starting just days before Christmas, the Hornets organization and several of its players still found unique ways to give back to families and youth in need during the holiday season.
In his first month in Charlotte after joining the Hornets as a free agent, forward Gordon Hayward paid off layaway gifts for 221 shoppers at local Walmart stores on E. Independence Boulevard, N. Tryon Street, and Wilkinson Boulevard. Even though the layaway period ended on December 14, the shoppers with layaway items at the three locations were informed that their gifts had been paid for and would be available for pick up on December 19. Along with their gifts, they received a card with a QR code that linked to a video from Hayward wishing them happy holidays.
As part of his annual “Merry Terry Christmas,” guard Terry Rozier provided gifts for a family in need through Charlotte Rescue Mission’s Dove’s Nest program and met with the family via Zoom on December 21 while they opened the presents. Rozier also donated 18 tablets to children in shelters through Charlotte Family Housing to assist with remote learning.
Guard Devonte’ Graham sponsored a family in need this holiday season, teaming up with the Salvation Army Center of Hope Women and Children’s Shelter to surprise the family with holiday gifts.
Center Cody Zeller continued his “Kicks for Kids” program during all four Hornets preseason games, wearing shoes with designs representing local organizations to help raise awareness for their causes. He also provided gifts to each of the organizations for the holidays.
Forward Jalen McDaniels worked with Classroom Central to create flashcards to be distributed to local students to help them continue studying during the holiday break.
In addition, while the Hornets players were unable to participate in the annual “Shop with a Hornet” holiday shopping spree at Walmart, the organization surprised a group of kids and teens at the Boys & Girls Club on Belmont Avenue with gifts they put on their wish lists as part of holiday activity. After facilitating a project that included making a do-it-yourself snow globe and writing a holiday wish list, members of the Hornets corporate social responsibility team used the responses to purchase the items at Walmart, then returned the following week to surprise them with the wrapped presents.