ORLANDO – Some traditions never grow old.
The Orlando Magic, which serves breakfast to the homeless on Thanksgiving morning, is without a doubt one of them.
This year marked the 30thth Time when the magic did that to the Coalition for the Homeless.
Along with members of the DeVos family, Magic CEO Alex Martins, community ambassador Bo Outlaw, players Admiral Schofield and Caleb Houstan, and other Magic volunteers, Magic Head Coach Jamahl Mosley sponsored and paid for the breakfast. A meal was served to around 400 residents of the Coalition for the Homeless, as well as more than 100 vulnerable homeless people in the community.
“I think it’s so amazing,” Mosley said. “The fact that we can give back is such a blessing. To be able to give back to the Coalition for the Homeless, that’s what it should be about… I think (with) the blessings that we have, we need to make sure we give back to those in need to be able to give to others to serve, to be able to care for others, (and) to do more with what you have, for those who are not fortunate enough to have some of the things we do.”
Throughout the year, but especially during the holidays, the Magic do everything they can to give back to their community. Ever since the late Rich DeVos bought the team in 1991, they’ve made it their mission to help as many people as possible get through their tougher times.
In many ways, the DeVos family’s philanthropic nature has become magnetic throughout the region. Many organizations work with them and the whole team to strengthen the community.
“Rich DeVos taught us all a lot about how to give back to our community and make sure we help those who are less fortunate in Central Florida,” Martins said. “This event meant a lot to him and we carry that on in his legacy and in his memory and in everything we do in terms of outreach. He is always on our minds and we know that here in Central Florida he taught us to be great citizens.”
Now in his second year at Magic, Schofield learned early on the impact of altruism. As soon as he heard about the Magic’s Thanksgiving tradition, he volunteered. After telling his mother and his girlfriend about his plans for Thanksgiving morning, they decided to come and help as well.
“It really showed me the importance of giving back — not for awards or notoriety, but I think it’s more for impact,” said the 25-year-old forward, who grew up in Chicago. “Even though people are giving me on my way to the NBA or giving me some pedagogical wisdom and infusing me to move forward and get into college and have opportunities that I didn’t have, it’s really helped me, a long way.” to go. It really impacted my life. As soon as I could give back to those people, I wanted to (give back) – even in my community to people who didn’t make it to the NBA or go to college and whatnot.
The important thing here is that we are all human. Not everyone can afford food. Not everyone can afford a large meal. I think the most important thing is that we give them a safe place to come and not worry about anything and just really enjoy their family.”
Thursday’s breakfast was one of the few Thanksgiving-related community events that Magic attended this year. Last week, employees at Wendell Carter Jr., Mosley, Outlaw, Florida Blue and Magic 350 distributed Thanksgiving meals to underserved families in the Central Florida area.
Last Monday, Markelle Fultz sponsored his Fultzgiving turkey meal distribution event for the Eatonville community. More than 400 Thanksgiving meals were distributed to underserved families at Denton Johnson Center. It was the third time that Fultz hosted this event.
Fultz was joined by his mother, Ebony, Outlaw, and many other volunteers. Community partners Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, St. Lawrence, Ward Chapel, Mt. Tabor, and New Bethel joined Magic by providing food donations and helping with the event.
“I think it’s huge — just to let them see that we’re all the same,” Fultz said. “We’re all human. We all go through problems. We all have problems. And just letting them know they have someone who believes in them and will always reach out to the community.”
Coalition for the Homeless CEO Allison Krall admires Magic for all of its philanthropic contributions. Even though the magic returns year after year on Thanksgiving, she doesn’t take it for granted. It warms her heart to know an organization as large as Magic Care as well as she does.
“Anytime you have a sports organization of Magic’s caliber and level and are willing to give back to the community, that says a lot about ownership of the organization,” she said. “It says a lot about the DeVos family, Coach Mosley and the entire administration team — that they are willing to invest in the community they work in… (We are) blessed that they chose our organization to be a.” to be part of her. I find it amazing.”
In addition to being served a meal, guests were able to participate in activities in the Coalition for the Homeless courtyard, including an inflatable basketball station, cornhole, face painting, and balloon art.