Craziness at a city park in Portland! NBA All-Star @Dame_Lillard posted on social media he was en route to give free shoes to kids, and a BUNCH of people showed up on short notice. pic.twitter.com/vX9gCGU1bJ— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) June 26, 2018
While many basketball fans across the country were tuned in to the NBA Awards broadcast, a sizable number in Portland, Oregon, were busy getting shoes.
That may seem a bit odd, until you realize that the person handing the shoes out — for free — was Portland Trail Blazer Damian Lillard.
On Monday evening, Lillard tweeted that he’d be handing out the sneakers at Irving Park in Portland.
“All kids in Portland,” he wrote, “if you wear a size 12 or 12.5 meet me at Irving Park at 8pm shoe giveaway.”
All kids in Portland... if you wear a size 12 or 12.5 meet me at Irving Park at 8pm shoe giveaway ... ???????— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) June 26, 2018
The park was packed when Lillard showed up.
The point guard, who came in fourth place in the NBA MVP rankings, even drove a U-Haul carrying the shoes himself, handing them out to kids in the park. When he ran out, he started signing autographs.
Maybe the best part of this: Dame drove the U-Haul himself! pic.twitter.com/Ky2rqNAWr7— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) June 26, 2018
Lillard’s act of generosity must have meant a lot to the kids who came to the park to meet him. While we’re inundated with news stories that depress or upset us, hearing about actions like these helps to put smiles on our faces.
It also inspires others to pay it forward, to replicate the kindness they received, and to do what they can to help people when they are in a position to do so.