Legendary basketball player and commentator Shaq has celebrated the holidays with a generous act of charity -- he gave away over 1,000 PS5s and 1,000 Nintendo Switches to needy kids for Christmas.
Shaquille "Shaq" O'Neal is well-known in the basketball world for his immense size, standing at 7'1" (2.16 mi) tall and towering over many other professional players in the NBA. He's retired from professional basketball over a decade ago, but he's kept quite busy over the years. A portion of that work has been dedicated to charity -- and this year, he gave away thousands of gaming consoles to kids in need.
Shaq-a-Claus brought the holiday spirit to children at Wesley Lake Elementary School in McDonough, GA! 🎁 @SHAQ joined us for the event which featured donations from @pepsi, @Fritolay, Tonka and many more.#PepsiStrongerTogether pic.twitter.com/dJS0NB49T0— Pepsi Stronger Together (@PepsiStronger) December 27, 2021
Why Shaq Gives Away Thousands of Toys Every Year
As Essentially Sports reports, Shaq was recently a guest on Gary Vaynerchuk's The Gary Vee Audio Experience podcast. He kicked off the episode by detailing how -- and why -- he gives away toys to needy kids every year.
"You know for me, coming from where I come from, my father was a drill sergeant, my mother just was a hard-working woman," Shaq explained in a recent episode. "Didn't have a lot. But they taught me the value of giving back. They taught me the value of helping those in need. When I was with Toys 'R Us, there was an alarming stat: 15 to 20 million kids wake up on Christmas Day and not receive one gift."
'That's devastating," Vaynerchuk interjected.
"I felt that one time. I don't ever want a kid to feel like that," Shaq continued. "So, as long as I'm on this Earth, I'm always trying to do what I can to make sure kids get good toys. I don't do promotional bullsh** [unintelligible] -- good toys. I call, you know, my friend from [Nintendo], got about 1,000 [Nintendo Switches] sitting there, got about 1,000 PS5s, I went to Walmart and got bikes. So, you know, yesterday, at this little elementary school in McDonough, Georgia, kids were crying, kids were happy, and that's what it's all about."
Aside from the proceeds from his growing media empire, the basketball legend raised money for his charitable efforts through the SHAQ GIVES BACK series of NFTs which have sold 10,000 units totaling $2,000,000 in funds.
"When I was with Toys 'R Us, there was an alarming stat: 15 to 20 million kids wake up on Christmas Day and not receive one gift."
100% of the proceeds from this NFT sale went towards The Shaquille O'Neal Foundation, Shaq's charitable organization which seeks to serve underprivileged youth. One of its most notable events is the annual "Shaq-A-Claus" giveaways where he and his organization give away thousands of toys to children in cities across America.
What do you think of Shaq giving away so many toys and gaming consoles to kids? What was the best Christmas gift you've ever received? Let us know in the comments below!