The NBA and Church of Jesus Christ Feed the Hungry
NBA All-Stars serve alongside Church leaders at bishops’ storehouse
As Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Indiana Pacers basketball player Buddy Hield worked side by side packaging food boxes at the Bishops’ Central Storehouse, they talked about what they do and why they serve.
“He wanted to know, ‘What is an Apostle?’” Elder Rasband said. “So I was able to share with him about my calling, and he shared with me more about participating in the 3-point competition Saturday night.”
Hield is from the Bahamas—an area that has suffered from hurricanes and other natural disasters—and serving others in need is important to him.
“I do this back in the Bahamas, too,” Hield said. “Coming to Utah and being a part of the All-Star weekend, I’m glad that I was able to be a part of this service.”
The NBA All-Star game was Sunday, Feb. 19. Ahead of that, nearly 300 volunteers—including current and former NBA players, staff, families and guests—spent hours on Friday, Feb. 17, sorting and packing food donations and hygiene kits at the storehouse.
As volunteers placed cereal, tuna and other food into empty boxes, the full boxes moved down the line and other boxes took their place. Working in another line of volunteers in the cavernous warehouse was Sister Tracy Y. Browning, second counselor in the Primary general presidency.
“I think that this is an important responsibility that we have, especially as members of the Church and those who share belief in the first and second great commandment,” Sister Browning said.
“We know that we love God, and that the best expression of our love for God is living the second commandment by loving and serving others,” she said. “We are also always happy to join with anyone seeking to lift and help others. This is work we can all do regardless of our varied backgrounds and beliefs.”
She saw people offering hope and help in their joint efforts throughout the day. “It’s wonderful to see that we can all be unified in serving others and meeting critical food insecurity needs today.”
Former NBA player Shawn Marion said, “I’m putting some beef stew into these boxes right now. We’ve got to feed some families. This is pretty awesome, man. I love it.” He continued, “I don’t mind this stuff at all. When you’ve been truly blessed and in a position to give back, why not.”
All-Stars and their families and friends filled hundreds of boxes with food, toothbrushes, shampoo and more inside the 13-acre storehouse owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Each box will feed a family of four for four days. The boxes will be loaded onto several semitrucks and distributed to the Utah Food Bank, Tabitha’s Way Local Food Pantry and Joyce Hansen Hall Food Bank. One truckload will be set aside for natural disaster relief efforts.
You can read more about the NBA Cares service project at the Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City on Church News.