Many choose to end 2014 by giving back in order to start off the New Year on the right foot. Matt Barnes, California native, UCLA grad, former LA Laker and current starting guard for the Los Angeles Clippers, does just that year after year.
“Giving back has become a lifestyle for me, and the incredible feeling I receive when I’m able to deliver happiness to children and their families is an ultimate reward in itself.” Says Barnes. “As a meaningful tribute to continue my mother’s legacy of being a charitable humanitarian and admirable parent, I aspire to be an example for me sons and teach them how to give to those less fortunate.”
In Dec. 2014 Barnes hosted the Ribbon in the Sky Toy and Sneaker drive presented by Kickstand and Bruin Legends at Skybar in the Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood, Ca. Snoop Dogg, Glen “Big Baby” Davis, and the legendary Julius “Dr J” Erving were among the 300+ guests who attended to support Barnes and the holiday drive benefiting Barnes’ nonprofit organization, Athletes Vs Cancer. For the event, an estimated 1,200 toys and 500 pairs of youth sneakers were donated. Athletes Vs Cancer also received a donation of $3,500 from Kickstand World. Barnes personally delivered the toys to UCLA Mattel Childrens’ Hospital. Athletes Vs Cancer delivered 200 toys to The Childrens’ Bureau, and over 1,000 kids were provided with toys and sneakers.
Athletes Vs Cancer was started in memory of Barnes’ mother, Ann Barnes, who passed away 26 days after being diagnosed with four types of cancer in November of 2007. In 2008, Matt launched Athletes vs. Cancer worldwide, teaming up with athletes and celebrities that shared his goal to educate and bring awareness to communities, and motivate people to get regular cancer screenings.
Photo credit: Cassy Athena / www.cassyathena.com