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Sport Nets' Jarrett Allen got creative so he could continue Thanksgiving tradition: Helping kids shop for groceries

16:30  26 november  2020
16:30  26 november  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

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Brooklyn Nets rookie Jarrett Allen took 25 kids grocery shopping for Thanksgiving dinner to teach them about budgeting. But Allen wanted to help kids and their families, and also teach them some essential life skills. So he took 25 7th and 8th grade kids from Elmcor Youth and Adult Activities, a

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Amid a year filled with health and economic concerns, it became increasingly important for Brooklyn Nets guard Jarrett Allen to continue his yearly tradition — helping local children enjoy a Thanksgiving meal. But Allen had to get creative for his 2020 event.

In his three previous "Meals + Math" events, Allen would gather with 25 children at a local grocery store in Brooklyn and help them with Thanksgiving shopping, giving them gift cards and budgeting tips.

So for his pre-Thanksgiving event last week, Allen hosted a Zoom call and worked with students on budgeting for their Thanksgiving shopping with their $100 gift cards to Key Food. The students were with Children of Promise, an after-school program and summer camp for children who have a parent who is incarcerated.

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While shopping , the two continued talking. He said that he wanted to do well in school so that he could own his own business one day so that he could afford to help the people in his town. Matt was hoping to get some clothes for the teen, and maybe buy him a lawnmower so he could cut grass

a group of people sitting at a table: Kids budgeted their Thanksgiving grocery lists as part of Jarrett Allen's © Courtesy photo Kids budgeted their Thanksgiving grocery lists as part of Jarrett Allen's "Meals + Math" program.

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“It was definitely different and kind of a blow with not being able to be there with them,” Allen told USA TODAY Sports. “But we were still being able to interact with them and were able to see some old and new faces...

“We had to almost pretend we were at the store on the Zoom call,” Allen said. “The Children of Promise and the proctors over there handled it amazingly. They helped the kids every step of the way. It was almost like we were at the grocery store again.”

But not quite. In past years, Allen said students would wander the grocery store aisles with a specific task: Pick out enough items for a Thanksgiving meal that would not exceed the $100 gift card. So students consulted Allen for help or relied on calculators.

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This year, Allen and City Harvest determined it would not be feasible to replicate that, even with social distancing protocols. But they never considered canceling the initiative, knowing children with incarcerated parents likely faced more hardships this year. No wonder Allen saw happy kids after the program ended, as each received a gift bag.

“I can’t imagine not being able to see one, if not both of my parents. So for me, being able to help the kids, bring smiles to their faces and bring joy to their lives, that has brought me a lot of joy,” Allen said.

“The kids are doing pretty decent. I don’t think they know all the impact of what’s been going on with the virus and the economy. So it’s still great to see that they’re enjoying life. They obviously do know that they can’t go to school, parks and restaurants and all that. But they’re moving along.”

a person with a football ball: Nets guard Jarrett Allen found a new way to do his © Ashley Landis, USA TODAY Sports Nets guard Jarrett Allen found a new way to do his "Meals + Math" Thanksgiving event for kids this year.

So is Allen’s continued hope to help the community.

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“It’s hard to look to the future right now. Everything’s in question,” he said. “I definitely want to do more things. Just trying to figure out how to put all the logistics together and get everything in place.”

Even if it only allows Allen to host a Zoom call.

Follow USA TODAY NBA writer Mark Medina on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Nets' Jarrett Allen got creative so he could continue Thanksgiving tradition: Helping kids shop for groceries

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usr: 0
This is interesting!