Haywood, Randolph reach out to community

In the middle of a grueling, 82-game NBA campaign, Zach Randolph and Brendan Haywood are still providing energy.

In
parallel acts that should not be overshadowed, both big men recently
decided to step out into their respective communities to help single
mothers and families struggling to make ends meet, notably offering
donations to provide electricity and utility services.

For his
part, Haywood, a member of the Charlotte Bobcats and native of
Greensboro, N.C., surprised a recent gathering of over a dozen local
mothers at a Salvation Army by announcing he would be paying a year’s
worth of their electricity bills—sending the room into a frenzy,
according to the Charlotte Observer. Haywood grew up in a single parent
home before attending the University of North Carolina and being drafted
in the first round of the 2001 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Despite his hefty $9 million salary this season, it’s an admirable act by Haywood—and a completely voluntary one at that.

Randolph,
a two-time All-Star with the Memphis Grizzlies, dished out his own
$20,000 donation to the community as well, reaching out to struggling
families that had had their power shut off. This has become somewhat of
an annual trend for Randolph, who has ingratiated himself to the Memphis
community through his community outreach. He has stated on multiple
occasions that he wants to spend the rest of his career with the
Grizzlies, and with moves like this it’s not hard to imagine why.

“Come
from single parent home, mom was on welfare, struggled myself so I know
what it’s like,” Randolph was quoted as saying by FOX Memphis. “Been
fortunate, blessed. Just like to give back because I think this
something the Lord has served me to do, give back, brings me blessings
in other ways. I’m here to tell you you’re a blessing to me.”

Through his gift, Randolph is expected to help around 100 homes and families regain their utility services.