PORTLAND – Portland Trail Blazers swingman Nicolas Batum hosted a toy drive giveaway at Charles Jordan Community Center that served over 580 kids.
Monday’s turnout more than doubled last year’s inaugural toy drive, said Batum’s personal public relation and management strategist Adonis Spicer.
“The neighborhoods surrounding PP&R’s Charles Jordan Community Center are among the most economically and culturally diverse in our city,” said Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz in a release. “It is wonderful that Nicolas, in addition to his success with the Trail Blazers on the court, is showing his MVP skills at brightening the holidays for kids who need some cheer.”
Batum’s successful toy drive lasted a little over three hours in which he signed autographs, posed for pictures, and shot hoops with kids and a few parents. There were no restrictions, as Batum was made assessable for children to walk-up and engage in conversation with the star forward.
“This is fun. I’m just happy that I’m able to give back and help those that are in need,” Batum told CSNNW.com. “This is what it’s about, the kids. I’m just glad I can help some of the parents out at a time like this.”
Today’s event benefited the Batum Mama Foundation.
A few hours removed from practice, Batum gathered his family, who happen to be in town from France for the holidays and hurried over to the community center. This is something he’s extremely passionate about and from the size of the crowd, they are passionate about him, too.
“I just hope it continues to grow,” he said. “It’s important that I give back in order to help those that one day may be in my shoes. It’s important to give kids hope and a chance. That’s what I want my foundation to do.”