For some, the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year. For others, they serve as painful reminders of lost loved ones and overwhelming financial burdens, particularly for parents with young children. For many families, helping children experience the magic of the season would be impossible without the generosity and compassion of those willing and able to share their resources.
The Family Over Everything Foundation, co-founded by NBA stars and twin brothers Marcus and Markieff Morris and professional basketball player Thomas Robinson, illustrated this spirit of generosity at the Episcopal Community Services St. Barnabas Mission Emergency Shelter in the Morris’ hometown of Philadelphia earlier last week.
On December 17, foundation leaders, including fellow co-founder and mother of Marcus and Markieff, Thomasine Morris, brought the holidays to the St. Barnabas shelter for 75 women and children. Volunteers decorated the dining room, provided a catered meal from local business Auntie’s Biscuits, sung carols and left wrapped presents under the Christmas tree for the women and children.
In addition, the event featured a visit from Santa Claus who took photos with the children and listened to their holiday wishes. He also helped them hang ornaments provided by the Morris brothers. Marcus, forward for the Boston Celtics, and Markieff, forward for the Washington Wizards, could not attend in person due to their game schedules, but they made sure to send special autographed ornaments signed by their respective teams.
Considering Philadelphia ranks as the poorest of the top 10 largest cities in the United States, with over 25 percent of residents living in poverty, there is both great need and great appreciation among local residents for the ongoing efforts of the Morris brothers and the Family Over Everything Foundation to support and empower underserved communities in their hometown.
Having experienced acute poverty throughout their upbringing, the Morris brothers are passionate about providing resources and opportunity to youth and families in need. While they could choose to forget their roots and insulate themselves with the NBA lifestyle, the name of their foundation accurately depicts the loyalty and groundedness instilled in them by their family and community.
Officially established in 2017 to formalize existing charitable efforts, the Family Over Everything Foundation continues to host charitable events and programs around the country focused on supporting underserved youth and single parent households. You can learn more about the foundation’s efforts HERE.