LeBron James may be gearing up for another season with the LA Lakers, but his heart is still in Ohio as he recently surprised a nine-year-old student in his “I PROMISE School” with a back-to-school shopping spree at Walmart.
James opened the school in his hometown of Akron last year, in an effort to help at-risk youths in the area succeed. But since moving to Los Angeles, the three-time NBA champion can’t be around as much as he’d like. Still, that’s not stopping him from making an impact there.
In a video posted to the I PROMISE School’s Twitter account titled “Heart of Surprise,” the former Cleveland Cavalier can be seen surprising a student named Lariyah in Los Angeles, where he gifts her with a back-to-school shopping spree at a Walmart in Kent, Ohio for herself and her classmates before the new school year, WKYC reports.
— I PROMISE School (@IPROMISESchool) August 30, 2019
“Coming from Akron, it’s easy for me to be able to relate to any one of my kids in school because I’ve walked those same roads, not knowing if you’re going to be able to go back to school,” James says in the video. “To have such a great partnership with Walmart and outfit our kids with supplies, I believe is going to do something for their confidence to just hit the ground running.”
In May, the LeBron James Family Foundation announced it had teamed with Walmart in a “long-term partnership rooted in a shared commitment to education, fighting hunger, and creating positive change in their communities.”
James personally curates a list of back to school shopping items inspired by his educational needs while growing up in Ohio. Walmart, meanwhile, vows to keep the 24-hour I PROMISE pantry at the school fully stocked with fresh and frozen food, toiletries and basic necessities. The pantry is accessible seven days a week for all I PROMISE families.
The LJFF and Walmart are committed to “preparing students and families for school with the confidence and tools they need to be successful in the classroom and beyond.”