Interviewed and written by Tocarra Eldridge
When greeting or being in the presence of NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas, one would be sure to receive a smile on their face as they feel his kind, loving and gentle spirit.
This year, the NBA legend collaborated with Mary’s Court, his family foundation to partner with the Marillac Social Center for his Fourth Annual Holiday Toy Giveaway. Wal-mart also joined to support the vision of both. The heart-felt event recently took place in the superstar’s hometown Chicago, on the Westside, where hundreds and hundreds of youth entered the center to receive unlimited gifts and prizes.
Mary’s Court was founded in recognition to honor and celebrate Thomas’ mother, Mary Thomas life and legacy as she provided her generous service to the economically disadvantaged in the community. We (Consciousness Magazine) had another wonderful and great opportunity to interview such a genuine individual filled with such amazing character, integrity and positivity who remains forever humble, while possessing a huge heart of giving. Here is what our friend and hero, Isiah Thomas, has to share with the readers regarding his toy giveaway and love for giving back.
Tocarra Eldridge: Over the course of your life, you have been consistent and passionate about giving. On your life journey, what was instilled in you to want to give back to your community?
Isiah Thomas: Just my moms, the way our mother raised us. We came up very poor but we were always servicing the community. That’s just how she raised us – just to make sure that you always try to help someone else. When you’re young you really feel good about helping others. Once you reach out and you give, it’s a good feeling when you give back. I just try to keep getting that good feeling.
Tocarra: What do you enjoy most about giving to the youth?
Isiah: Just seeing the sparkle in their eyes and just seeing the smile come across their face. A lot of them are having hard times – hard days. So, if you can just make them smile and make them forget about uncertainties that they have in their life right now, it’s a good thing. And also, seeing the smile on the parents’ face, because a lot of moms and dads are struggling trying to figure out what they are going to get their little son or daughter for Christmas, and don’t necessarily have the means to get it. So, if you can step in and help them, that’s also a good feeling.
Tocarra: Was there anything you did differently at this Toy Drive this year, as oppose to last year?
Isiah: No, they seem to like it and I just keep trying to replicate it.
Tocarra: As you know, Christmas is about giving year around, however, for those parents who cannot give tangible items to their children, what would you share with them in hopes of having a great Christmas for their family?
Isiah: The gift of love is always forever, and there was a lot of Christmas’ that we didn’t get toys, you know…Santa didn’t make it to our house. Mom would sit us around and we would sing songs and really just share love with each other. When we were young we didn’t know that’s what was happening.
Tocarra: What do you think took place where many adults now-a-days seem to overlook the importance of inspiring youth? How can we counteract that and inspire and motive the adults to mold and build the youth?
Isiah: I think interviews such as this, just being conscious and talking about it. There use to be such a part of our oral history, a part of our merit, giving back and helping that I think we just got caught up in succeeding as individuals that we forgot that when we succeed as a group of people we all succeed.
Tocarra: Mr. Thomas, would you like to add anything in closing?
Isiah: Merry Christmas!
Tocarra: Thank you, same to you!
Isiah: Thank you!
Last modified: May 14, 2023