“Just showing people that we care and love them — it goes a long way,” Kevin Durant said during a recent visit to Larkin Street Youth Services’ shelter in San Francisco.
Larkin Street provides shelter to homeless and runaway young people ages 14-24 and offers services to help them turn their lives around. With the help of cheery representatives from Alaska Airlines — a company with which he recently partnered to support his philanthropic endeavors in the Bay Area — Durant donated new backpacks, blankets, shoes and other personal care items.
At Oakland Elizabeth House (Oake House), a “cooperative living environment” for women and children who need help transitioning out of violent homes or homelessness, Durant played Santa for a second year in row — literally bringing Christmas to people who otherwise would not have one.
Some of the Oake House staff and families marveled at Durant’s height when he entered the room. While he shared a few words about what it meant for him to be there, and expressed a desire to continue his work with them in the future, helpers ushered in boxes and boxes of wrapped gifts.
At the end of the visit, Durant — holding a young child — posed for photos with the staff, mothers and children. His easy manner with the toddler makes it hard to resist thoughts about what a great father he will make one day.
Until that time, Durant’s efforts to improve the lives of others continue. Per statement from his publicist, Durant’s giving didn’t stop on his “Bay of Giving.” The Kevin Durant Charity Foundation (KDCF) will be providing additional support to these organizations — in the form of grants.
Durant stated on his official YouTube channel regarding his visits to both places: “It was a very special day for me.”
Durant brings Christmas 365 days/year
From building and renovating basketball courts in low-income communities through his “Build It and They Will Ball” global initiative, to donating millions to organizations like Positive Tomorrows (an elementary school in Oklahoma created specifically to meet the needs of homeless children), Durant has never been one to wait until Dec. 25.
In 2017 alone, the KDCF brought basketball courts to the following cities:
- Seat Pleasant, MD (2 courts, May 2017)
- Oakland, CA (2 courts, May 2017)
- New York, NY (1 court, July 2017)
- New Delhi, India (2 courts, August 2017)
- Redwood City, CA (in progress)
When it comes to helping the most vulnerable citizens in the most underserved communities, for Kevin Durant, it’s a year-round affair.
The Warriors’ ‘Season of Giving’ initiative
The Golden State Warriors have served as dutiful elves since Oct. 2015, fully revamping Covenant House California — a homeless shelter for at-risk youth.
On Dec. 15, Shaun Livingston joined former teammate Leandro Barbosa to reveal the product of the team’s Holiday Makeover Project, and the ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by staff from the Warriors’ front office, as well as community and corporate partners.
Covenant House is home to 30 young people, ages 18-24. Now, after two years of remodeling and redecorating, the shelter will hopefully feel more like a home.
Livingston, who has won two NBA Championships with the team, spent time with the residents at Covenant House and shared that the experience was more rewarding than any on-court accolade.
“It’s a blessing to be here and help to bring some joy to good, kind people who need something to smile about during the holidays,” said Livingston. “The amount of genuine appreciation that they have, makes it worth more than every bucket you could score on the court.”
At the unveiling, Golden State’s elves of the day put “finishing touches of paint [on spaces], assembl[ed] furniture and decorat[ed] the Covenant House’s main living space, lounge area and 14 bedrooms.”
Livingston is no stranger to community involvement. Earlier this year, he supported efforts to have the city hall in his hometown of Peoria, Ill. added to the National Record of Historic Places, and he’s a staple at events that provide food and other necessities to underprivileged members of the community.
The Warriors Community Foundation contributes hundreds of thousands of dollars each season to organizations offering education and youth-development programs and initiatives.