In North Philadelphia born and raised, NBA stars Marcus and Markieff Morris are giving back to underserved youth in their hometown this new school year. This past August, the Morris brothers and their recently established Family Over Everything Foundation hosted a backpack giveaway and community day at Hunting Park Recreation Center in Philadelphia for over 300 inner-city youth and their families.
Backpacks donated by Herschel Supply Co. were filled with school supplies donated by Mills & Edwards, LLP and tee-shirts donated by the Celtics. The event also featured free back-to-school physicals, a bike raffle, face painting, photos and autograph signing with the Morris brothers. The City of Brotherly Love wasn’t their only stop though.
A week before the Philly event, Markieff and the Family Over Everything Foundation hosted a similar event at the Ridge Road Recreation Center in Washington D.C., which also included a surprise appearance from fellow Wizard’s star John Wall. In addition, the recreation center presented Markieff with an award for his ongoing work in the Washington D.C. community. Both Morris brothers have been active in their NBA team cities, hosting fan appreciation nights, visiting local schools and leading other charitable initiatives.
Determined to uplift the communities they love most, the Morris brothers established the Family Over Everything Foundation in 2017 along with their mother, Thomasine Morris, and fellow professional basketball player Thomas Robinson. Now in its second year, the foundation continues to host events around the country in an effort to help alleviate burdens faced by single parents, families in underserved communities and at-risk members of society.
Another recent event hosted by the foundation was “All-Star Treatment for All-Star Moms.” During NBA All-Star Weekend 2018 in Los Angeles, single mothers facing recent hardship enjoyed a day of pampering and makeovers from a celebrity glam squad. After a professional photo shoot, luxury transportation escorted the ladies to dinner at West Hollywood’s Fig and Olive, followed by a fashion showcase where the women modeled their new looks.
In addition to giving, the Morris family also seeks to empower. This past April, the foundation held a free women’s empowerment and financial literacy summit in Philadelphia. Experts shared knowledge on diverse financial topics while local minority-owned businesses vended clothing, accessories and other goods. In a country where 44 percent of Americans don’t have enough cash to cover a $400 emergency, learning ways to build financial security can have economically and emotionally transformative effects on individuals, families and communities.
Although their foundation is relatively new, the Morris’s have been leading philanthropic initiatives for years, such as their low-cost summer basketball camp for youth from under-resourced communities and their backpack giveaway. Nevertheless, their foundation has been instrumental in helping them streamline and scale their charitable work. With a momentous 2017-2018 season on and off the court, we can’t wait to see what’s in store this coming season!