By: Erika Fernandez (@curlsandsports)
Forget what’s been happening on the court or what the numbers say. Forget what has been in the headlines lately. The NBA season may be starting in a few days but last night, basketball was the last thing to be discussed. Knicks forward, Carmelo Anthony, came out last night to show support for his newest launch for his foundation.
“Tools for Teachers,” is the newest member to be apart of The Carmelo Anthony Foundation. You could see the excitement in the teachers as their faces lit up as they received supplies for their designated schools. Many teachers were heard saying, “Wow, we’re taking all of that back to school?” Others said, “I cannot believe we received this.” One in particular said, “Wait till my students know where these supplies came from.” You can just tell that the teachers were overwhelmed with joy and couldn’t get enough of this act of kindness.
You could see Carmelo Anthony picking up boxes and handing them out to the teachers. He was interacting with the teachers and asking them questions, besides posing for pictures of course. You can tell that he was happy to be there and giving back to these communities that need help.
Coming from someone who grew up in the NYC public school system, I felt connected to this event and wished something like this was around while I was growing up. When I asked Carmelo Anthony what inspired this idea, he said, “I understand what the teachers have to go through these days; how hard it is to attempt to help our kids. For me it was easy to come back and give to them. For the average person, it might be something so small but to me and to them, it’s something big.” As a parent, I’m sure he felt a connection with these teachers.
The Carmelo Anthony Foundation is turning 10 years old in 2015. When asked about the milestone that he’s about to reach, Carmelo Anthony responded with shock that he’s been able to reach that. He said, “We started out with the basketball courts. We’re giving back with something other than basketball stuff. This is the second of many more initiatives.”
Part of the joy of last night was seeing the teacher’s faces filled with joy because of what they were experiencing. When I asked Carmelo how he felt when he saw their faces, he said, “I was more excited to give back to them than they wanted me to give the boxes. I knew what I was doing. I wish somebody would’ve came back and given me some boxes and came back to my community. I could see how intrigued they were and like I said, this is the beginning of many more to come.”
When I asked him if playing for the Knicks brings him closer to the city of New York, he responded with this, “I do it from the bottom of my heart, genuinely. Not because I play for the Knicks but because I like to give back to the community; whatever community I’m in, I like to give back. I want everyone to be apart of it." You can see that Carmelo Anthony does this with pure delight and really wants to just help.
After what I saw this evening, you can tell that this foundation is all about giving back to the community and putting a smile on people’s faces. It’s wonderful to see how athletes interact with communities and genuinely have a desire to help out those that are underprivileged. The best thing is that Carmelo Anthony also takes part of his foundation and handles them personally. If you’re looking for a foundation to donate to, you found it with The Carmelo Anthony Foundation.