Magic Johnson Brings Smiles to Over 12,000 Michigan Residents with Clothes, Food and Other Gifts

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Ervin "Magic" Johnson (David Alex Films/Vimeo)
Ervin “Magic” Johnson (David Alex Films/Vimeo)

Earvin “Magic” Johnson’s most recent charitable events saw him giving holiday cheer to thousands of Michigan citizens.

The retired NBA star’s Magic Johnson Foundation brought his Holiday Hope initiative to the cities of Detroit, Flint and his hometown of Lansing. The effort was made possible in part because of a partnership with UnitedHealthcare Community Plan, according to MLive.

Families from each community were pre-selected to receive clothing, food and toys for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

For his Saturday stops in Detroit and Flint, Johnson revealed his foundation and Feed the Children gave more than 10,000 residents items that included toys and food.

Johnson previously hosted the Holiday Hope event in Detroit and Lansing, but he wanted to include Flint this year and next year.

“It makes me feel good because this city has been down and it’s been beat up,” Johnson said. “We know about the water crisis here in Flint. We all come together to give them some sunshine, to give them some hope.”

Johnson noted many sponsors were involved this year, including Walmart, Disney and FedEx.

Additionally, the 6-foot-9 superstar also hosted a holiday party for 200 children in the city. Flint Northwestern High School’s gymnasium was filled with bikes for the kids, who also took part in crafting activities.

As the children sat in the gym, Johnson expressed the importance of education.

“We want you to understand [to] dream big,” he said. “Get your education and you’ll be able to do anything in life you want to do. I was once like you. A little kid from Lansing, Michigan, right down the street. I grew up poor, but I didn’t have poor dreams.”

Finally, Johnson made the trip to Lansing on Sunday with a visit to Everett High School. During his stop, he gifted families with food and toys and 4,800 winter coats from Macy’s.

“Every step of the way, somebody from Lansing helped me, and so it’s my job, and I have an obligation to help somebody else and that’s what it’s all about,” Johnson told WLNS.

In total, Johnson’s philanthropy aided about 12,000 Michigan townspeople, thanks in part to UnitedHealthCare’s $30,000 gift to expand Holiday Hope to Flint. Coordinators aim to double the amount of people served in 2017.

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