LOS ANGELES, CA — Kawhi Leonard, the Clipper’s newest star and two-time NBA Finals MVP, stunned his new community Tuesday, announcing he would donate 1 million new backpacks for every student in the Los Angeles, Moreno Valley, Inglewood school districts.
According to the Clippers, it’s the largest ever single donation ever offered to the LAUSD, the nation’s second-largest school district. Leonard went to a place close to his heart to announce the donation — his former school, Cloverdale Elementary School in Moreno Valley.
“My goal this year is to make a meaningful contribution both on and off the court,” Leonard said in a statement released by the Clippers. “This felt like the right way to get started. It was important to me to make this announcement in my hometown of Moreno Valley at my former elementary school, but the benefits this program will have across all of Los Angeles makes today even more special.”
Roughly 80 percent of LA’s K-12 students were eligible for free or reduced lunches last year, meaning that every day school supplies aren’t always in the family budget.
The donation is being made by Leonard in conjunction with the L.A. Clippers Foundation and the nonprofit Baby2Baby.
After making the initial announcement at Cloverdale, Leonard traveled to South Los Angeles to spread the news at 107th Street Elementary School, where he was joined by Baby2Baby “ambassadors” Zooey Deschanel, Busy Philipps and Nicole Richie.
“There are a lot of families throughout the L.A. region working hard every day to earn everything in their lives,” said Gillian Zucker, the Clippers’ president of business operations. “This program is our effort to extend a hand to make heading back to school a little easier.”
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