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.