NBA All-Star, Russell Westbrook along with The Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation hosted a Thanksgiving drive through dinner event on Thursday, November 19th at Jesse Owens Park in Los Angeles.
This is the 9th annual Thanksgiving dinner the Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation has hosted at which Russell, and his family served over 1,000 meals, shelf stable food boxes courtesy of the LA Regional Food Bank, a bag of arts and craft activities and a gift card toward the purchase of a turkey from the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation to families and members of the local community. D’s Original Take Out Grill provided the meals and has been a sponsor for the annual event since 2013.
“This year has been especially hard for so many people and so many are not able to spend the holidays with their families. I’ve seen the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on my community and I wanted to come up with a way to still do our annual event in the safest way possible. Giving back and showing up for my community is important to me and I’m happy we were able to give out these Thanksgiving packages,” said Westbrook.
“COVID-19 has had devastating effects on our communities, particularly in cities like Los Angeles where cases are on the rise and many don’t have access to healthcare or other basic human needs,” said Dr. Sujal Mandavia, Chief Medical Officer at Carbon Health, which conducted the COVID-19 rapid testing for all volunteers and staff before the drive-through event. “Russell Westbrook and his team have gone above and beyond this year to ensure that this annual tradition continues to make a difference by combating food insecurity in the community. Carbon is honored to provide the healthcare support needed to allow Russell and his team help safely create access to food.”
Russell grew up playing basketball at Jesse Owens Park and has made giving back to the Los Angeles community, a cornerstone of his charitable initiatives. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Russell has gone above and beyond to give back to his community. He teamed up with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to launch the Angeleno Fund which provides financial assistance to Angeleno’s suffering in the pandemic, he provided meals to front line health care workers at Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital, partnered with Comp-U-Dopt to close the digital divide and provide lap tops for young children and their families, and provided STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Art and Math kits) for young girls in middle school via The Greater LA Education Foundation, Green Dot Schools and LA Promise Fund.