Magic Johnson & FedEx: Two Giants Score Big for Kids
Many of you may recall that Earvin "Magic" Johnson was a member of the original U.S. "Dream Team" at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona where he helped bring home the gold in men's basketball. In early December, FedEx teamed up with this legendary NBA champion to make dreams come true for underprivileged kids in Los Angeles and Harlem. As the presenting sponsor of the Magic Johnson Foundation's Annual Toy Drive and Holiday Party, FedEx employees brought holiday cheer to more than 500 kids. Outreach organizations say many of these children would not have received anything for the holidays had it not been for Magic Johnson and FedEx.
Magic, dressed in a FedEx-branded shirt and purple Santa hat, arrived with his family at the event in Los Angeles with his signature smile and jovial demeanor. "Round up the FedEx team," he said. "I want to get a photo with the FedEx people." He chatted with our employees and the kids, then helped FedEx volunteers and Santa hand out the toys. "We are proud to work with FedEx on this initiative," he said. "We know that the holidays are not just about sharing with our families and friends, but also about giving back to our communities and those in need."
The FedEx Special Delivery truck picked up hundreds of toys at Toys R Us stores in Los Angeles and Harlem and delivered them to kids at the Magic Johnson Theater in Los Angeles and Taino Residential Center in Harlem. In addition to toys, kids enjoyed a visit from Santa, refreshments, face-painting, games, a movie and live entertainment.
"The children were happy to receive gifts but they also wanted to give something to Santa," said Joe Perrone, Manager of Sales for FedEx in NY who volunteered at the Harlem event. "When we gave the kids candy canes, they tried to give them to Santa because they really wanted to give someting back."
Magic Johnson established the Foundation in 1991 as a nonprofit focusing on the health, educational and social needs of urban youth. Through Magic's scholarship program, 3,000 students have been able to attend nationally-accredited colleges and universities. The Foundation has also donated more than a million dollars to community organizations that focus on HIV/Aids education and prevention.
In 2007, Johnson received the FedEx-sponsored Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Civil Right's Museum's Freedom Awards for his ongoing community outreach efforts. The award was presented to Magic by his fellow Michigan State University alumnus, Bill Margaritis, FedEx Corporate Vice President of Global Communications and Investor Relations.
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