It was an evening to kick back and have a little fun courtesy of the Dallas Mavericks and celebrate five nonprofits fighting childhood hunger.
"I want to thank all the amazing organizations for their hard work during this global pandemic. I want to encourage everyone to keep up the good work. And I promise it won't go unnoticed," Krisstaps Porzingis told the crowd Wednesday night in a recorded statement.
The Mavs' 7 foot 3 inch tall forward-center made fighting hunger part of the season.
For every blocked shot, Porzingis personally donated $500. Whataburger kicked in another $100. Whataburger’s contribution is part of its Whataburger Feeding Student Success program, geared toward helping students from Pre-K to college achieve their dreams and goals while removing barriers to success.
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"It's probably one of the worst feelings as a kid, to feel that feeling of hunger and not being able to eat. So whenever I heard that idea, I was like, yes. Kids have to be healthy growing up," Porzingis told NBC 5 in February.
In the end, it added up to $50,000 dispersed in grants of $10,000 for five organizations.
New Day Arlington, which feeds kids in the Arlington ISD, was one of them.
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"They were going through old applications and saw ours. Course his interest is in child hunger. So we fit the bill," said Martha Kinard, the president of the board for New Day Arlington.
Volunteers from four churches buy, pack and deliver food to schools so families have enough to eat on the weekends. The $10,000 donation gives them the ability to do more.
"We're spending about $4.50 per bag; it's gonna feed a lot of kids. And it allows us to buy some inventory for when kids come back to school. We'll be stocked up and ready to go," Kinard said.
"A huge thank you again and let's keep fighting," encouraged Porzingis.
"It's been a challenging year but we didn't stop," Kinard said.