Josh Richardson of the Dallas Mavericks and Jrue Holiday of the Milwaukee Bucks are winners of the January NBA Cares Community Assist Award.
The award recognizes players each month who best reflect the passion that the league and NBA players share for giving back to their communities --- Richardson and Holiday provided support for those impacted by COVID-19 in their new team's cities.
To add to their favorite funds and programs, Kaiser Permanente and the NBA will donate $10,000 on Holiday's behalf to the Jrue & Lauren Holiday Social Justice Fund and $10,000 on Richardson's behalf to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.
Richardson sought out to make an immediate impact in the Greater Dallas area by surprising frontline health care workers from UT Southwestern Medical Center with Reebok Sneakers, team merchandise and a special video message thanking them for their support and hard work to keep the community safe.
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He also visited a Dallas Independent School District first grade class as a guest reader, surprising the students and encouraging them to embrace reading and education during the particular challenges of this school year.
Richardson is a son of an Air Force Servicewoman and has been working with the Tragedy Assistance Program for survivors.
This program provides comfort, care and resources for families and friends grieving the death of a servicemember.
For several years, he has developed a close relationship with his mentee, Elijah, through the program, and during the holiday season, he provided gifts for more than 20 families who have also lost a loved one in service.
"My family instilled in me early on the value of service and that communities are created and sustained by our ability to support and serve others," said Richardson.
Richardson loves how friendly the Dallas community is and can't wait to help in even more ways.
"I'm grateful to the Mavs organization and community for welcoming me with open arms, supporting Dallas is a priority for me."
Shortly after joining the Bucks in November, Holiday and his wife Lauren joined up with the Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation to identify small, women- and Black-owned businesses most in need of assistance.
The Holiday family then announced funding for seven local businesses in Jan. being:
- Amri Counseling Services
- Carter's Quality Care
- Hands at Home
- Jamaican Season Island Restaurant
- Kid's Kingdom
- Legacy Home Health Services
- The SW Retreat
Holiday has also made long-term commitments to assist communities important to him, including pledging the remainder of his 2020 NBA salary to create 'The Jrue and Lauren Holiday Social Justice Fund', which seeks to combat systemic racism and increase economic inequality by providing funding and support to Black-led organizations and businesses.
Earlier this season, the fund announced support for 25 nonprofits and historically Black institutions, as well as 23 Black-owned small businesses in Los Angeles, New Orleans and Indianapolis.
The fund is already making a huge impact to communities across the U.S.
"With the COVID-19 pandemic and heightened racial injustices in 2020, many of us have been looking for answers," said Holiday.
"Lauren and I found ourselves searching for ways to help our community at a time when they needed it most. Pledging the remainder of our 2020 NBA salary to small Black-owned businesses, non-profits and initiatives is how we felt we could make a lasting impact."
Holiday and Richardson were presented with their awards during special virtual ceremonies with the league, Kaiser Permanente and their respective team officials this past week.