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There are only a few hours left to help out families affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Gifts made today will be matched.
#GivingTuesdayNow is almost over. Only a few hours left to help our families affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Gifts made today will be matched up to $50,000 thanks to the generosity of a dedicated group of employees at William Blair and its matching gifts program.
Bulls’ Butler Bears Gifts for our Boys
This past holiday season, a group of our boys experienced a Christmas treat they would never forget when they were given presents by none other than Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler!
Amidst the excitement and activity of last month’s Christmas preparations, our young men were informed they had the opportunity to go shopping with a Chicago Bulls player during the week before Christmas. There were only 23 spots available however, and in order to go, our boys would need to write a response to the question, “What does it mean to give back to your community?” Their essays would be due the week before the event.
Our young men threw themselves into the task, writing thoughtful and reflective answers discussing the generosity of spirit present in their program staff, the necessary selflessness of giving, and the many forms generosity can take. After careful deliberation by our program staff, 23 boys were selected for the exciting event.
Once the big day had finally arrived, our boys piled into vans with program staff and headed downtown for what lay in store, not knowing exactly where they were headed, or why exactly 23 youth were selected.
Both questions were answered when their caravan came to a stop in front of 32 S. State, also known as the new Jordan Brand Nike store. But our kids were surprised to find the shop had been closed off to the public in preparation for their VIP arrival.
A representative from the Chicago Bulls then welcomed them inside and gathered them around to brief them on the day’s proceedings. In the middle of her speech, a tall figure entered the room from the back of the store—it was Jimmy Butler!
Butler (or Jimmy Buckets, as he is known to his teammates) is an inspiring figure to our boys for many reasons—not least of all because of his current full-time job—and our young men were surprised and ecstatic to meet him. Butler first visited the Home in his rookie season in 2012.
After many hand shakes and photos, Butler gave gift cards to each of our boys for use in the store.
Elated, and with the shop all to themselves, our young people began searching the room for the perfect item. Butler meanwhile, walked throughout the store, talking with and getting to know each of our boys—he even helped them check out once they were done shopping.
Many more pictures, Air Jordan sneakers, and conversations later, our boys clambered back into the vans and headed home, still riding high from their incredible experience.
The surprises weren’t over yet, though. The group arrived home to find they had missed dinner at Mercy Home, but soon discovered that the Chicago Bulls had treated them to pizza.
A huge thank you to Jimmy Butler, our great friends in the Chicago Bulls organization, and all of the employees at the Jordan Brand store for making this wonderful gift possible, and for giving our kids a truly special Christmas they’ll never forget!