Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard and his new team announced Tuesday they are donating one million backpacks to ensure that every child in three Los Angeles-area school districts has a new backpack to start the school year. Many of the students are homeless, in foster care or are in low-income families.
The Clippers announced every student in the Los Angeles Unified, Inglewood Unified, and Moreno Valley Unified school districts will benefit.
Leonard made the announcement at his old elementary school in Moreno Valley.
“My goal this year is to make a meaningful contribution both on and off the court. This felt like the right way to get started," Leonard said in a statement.
Celebrities Zooey Deschanel, Busy Philipps and Nicole Richie were also part of the announcement. They are ambassadors for Baby2Baby, a nonprofit that helps provide essential supplies for children living in poverty. The organization says backpacks are one of the most-requested items for school-age children in its program.
“For many of these children who are homeless or in foster care, backpacks not only hold their school books and homework, but also all of their personal belongings. If they have a backpack at all, it is often falling apart, and when a child does not have one, they resort to using a grocery or trash bag." Baby2Baby Co-presidents Kelly Sawyer Patricof and Norah Weinstein said in a statement. "The Clippers' donation will make these children feel the pride they deserve and give them the confidence they need to start the school year off on the right foot.”
Leonard signed a three-year contract with the Clippers this offseason after leading the Toronto Raptors to its first NBA title in June.