And it wasn’t even Boxing Day.
Brooklyn native and WBA Middleweight boxing champion Danny Jacobs returned to his old neighborhood on Thursday to deliver frozen turkeys and grocery sacks full of Christmas meals to families living in a Brownsville shelter.
“I wanted to donate some things to make your holidays a little more special than they already are,” the pro puncher told a roomful of kids and their parents.
He grew up about a half-mile from the Dean Street Family Residence, became one of the top boxing prospects in the world and later battled back from a paralysis-causing cancer to win the world title in August at Barclays Center.
No one expects much for a boy from Brownsville, Jacobs said, so he makes point of returning to his old stomping grounds to talk to kids.
Jacobs wore a “BLACK LIVES MATTER” shirt in honor of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, two black men whose death at the hands of cops have shaken the country.
“You know how they say people from Brownsville don’t matter?” the 27-year-old asked a boy named Joshua, who nodded. “I’m here to tell you, you matter, and everyone around here matters.”
It’s an especially important message following the decisions of grand juries in Staten Island and Ferguson, Mo., not to indict the cops who killed Garner and Brown, Jacobs said.
“It’s crazy that we have to say it, but we do,” he said.
The families at Dean Street crowded in next to the local boy made good to pose for pictures with the champ and touch the gleaming belt.
Jacobs sent each family back to their apartment with signed photos, turkeys, roasting pans, pie crusts, mashed potatoes and all the trimmings for a big holiday dinner.
“It’s a blessing, because we are struggling parents,” said Ana Garcia, 40, who’s raising six kids by herself at Dean Street.
Just to see someone who’s made it care enough to come back is important to the families, said Pelham Bollers, the executive director of Urban Strategies, the nonprofit that operates the 12-family shelter and two others in Brownsville.
He still remembers the rapper who was scheduled to visit a couple of years ago, only to show up six hours late.
“It means a lot to them,” Bollers said of the families. “They will never forget this.”
Source: NY Daily News
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