NBA great and Atlanta resident Shaquille O’Neal spread holiday joy to a group of around 200 children at the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Atlanta- Bellwood Unit on Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway in Atlanta this week.
Shaq said his philanthropic spirit comes from his mom. Where his singing voice comes from? That’s anyone’s guess! Check out this fun video of Shaq-a-Claus singing Christmas carols and spreading holiday cheer!
Before everyone got toys, Shaq delivered a different sort of Christmas gift: a few rules for living that he said got him by when he was a Boys & Girls Club member growing up.
“Listen to your counselors, listen to your teachers, listen to your parents,” he said.”Trust me, that stuff works.”
Kids also got winter coats, food to take home and other essentials. Sponsors including JAKKS Cares, the philanthropic division of leading U.S. toymaker JAKKS Pacific, Inc.; Feed The Children, Quiznos and The Cartoon Network all participated in the fun event.
Shaq, who lives in Atlanta now, had the kids repeat a pledge: “I will listen to my mommy. I will listen to my daddy, listen to my counselors. I will be obedient, be respectful. And I will become whatever I want to be.”
“Repeat after me, Shaq said: I will always follow my dreams. Nobody can stop me from fulfulling my dreams.”
Shaq’s final words of wisdom: “Be leaders, not followers.” By that he meant, if a friend wants to talk you into participating in some foolishness, say no and stay out of trouble.
“When I was young, those were the only three rules I followed and I’m here today,” he said.