Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard is donating 20,000 backpacks to fans attending Friday’s game between the Clips and visiting Denver Nuggets at Staples Center, per Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times.
The initiative is part of the #Kawhiit campaign, whose purpose is stated in a note from Leonard contained in each backpack: “Show the world how you #Kawhiit by using this backpack to have someone’s back. Let your actions do the talking. Fill it with food to give to someone who’s hungry, a blanket for someone who’s cold, books for a child who has none. Or do your own thing. I get that.
Leonard told Woike: “It’s not just backpacks. The backpack is just a start.”
The 28-year-old’s community service has stretched beyond the campaign, with Woike writing that he has partnered with local schools and donated items such as basic school supplies and “much-needed” technological updates.
The L.A. native was also scheduled to meet with teachers from his middle school, Moreno Valley Palm, in order to provide another donation.
The two-time NBA Finals MVP also worked with the Clips and the non-profit Baby2Baby to donate 1 million backpacks to local Southern California students prior to the beginning of the 2019-20 school year.
“My goal this year is to make a meaningful contribution both on and off the court. This felt like the right way to get started. It was important to me to make this announcement in my hometown of Moreno Valley at my former Elementary School, but the benefits this program will have across all of Los Angeles makes today even more special.”
On the court, a win Friday would pull Leonard’s Clippers into a second-place tie with Denver in the Western Conference.