On Thursday afternoon, Richardson sent Mavs Champ and the Mavericks’ community relations team to Dallas-based UT-Southwestern Medical Center to deliver 40 pairs of Reebok shoes to frontline workers.
In a special video recorded by Richardson, he thanked the brave men and women for their willingness to battle the coronavirus on the frontlines each day.
“It’s really important that you guys remember there are people out there thinking about you,” Richardson told the hospital workers in a special video. “I know this is tough, but I appreciate it and I know that everyone else appreciates your dedication through this pandemic.”
The timing is especially meaningful because Richardson missed his seventh straight game on Wednesday while he remains in the league’s health and safety protocols. Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle said Richardson is back in Dallas, but he will have to build back up his stamina when he ‘s able to rejoin the team.
Despite his own health scare, Richardson remains focused on serving others in the best way possible.
Mavs community relations manager, Emily Luth, said Richardson wanted to honor healthcare workers as a token of appreciation and to boost morale. The frontline workers were selected in a raffle and were told to show up Thursday afternoon to receive their special boxes of love.
Besides $100 shoes, the healthcare workers also received other Mavs swag to go along with their new kicks.
“Frontline workers have been working tirelessly throughout this pandemic,” Luth said. “I think being able to show our support and appreciation for all of them through something as simple as a shoe donation really boosts their spirits. The admiration Josh and the Mavs hold for all of these workers is amazing. I look forward to continuing our support of our frontline workers.”
Richardson’s charitable giving isn’t anything new. He’s long been known as one of the most philanthropic athletes in the NBA.
Since inking with Reebok a couple of years ago, he’s been notorious about gifting shoes and shopping sprees to children with TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program For Survivors), designed to help families grieving the loss of loved ones who died while serving in our Armed Forces. During Christmas, he also surprised 25 TAPS children with special gifts and spent time with them on a virtual call.
Diana Hosford of TAPS noted that Richardson’s love language is “shoes and fashion” and she wasn’t surprised one bit by his latest donation.
“Josh has taken TAPS and the families of America’s fallen heroes to cities all across America,” Hosford said. “Wherever he goes, he recognizes the families of fallen heroes, the children, and he connects with them in meaningful ways. From experiences in Miami, to Philadelphia, to now doing it in Dallas. He represents much hope for families all across America.”
Now, Richardson is extending that same kind of appreciation to healthcare workers.
Luth said Richardson has already become a shining star in the North Texas community. Besides his shoe donation today, Richardson is locked into virtually reading to children in the coming weeks and he also has other personal outreach initiatives on the docket.
“I just think that anyone that I can help and bring happiness and joy to their lives is an opportunity I and anyone else should jump at,” Richardson said.
When it comes to the basketball court, Richardson has also enjoyed early success with the Mavericks. Through the Mavs’ first eight games, he punched in averages of 13.8 points, 2.9 rebounds, two three-pointers and 1.6 assists per game. He’s also shooting 41.4 percent from the field and averaged 32.5 minutes per game.
Even though he brings a great value to the Mavericks on the court, Richardson’s servanthood spirit continues to ripple through communities all across North Texas.
One pair of shoes at a time.
“Stay strong,” Richardson told the frontline workers. “I’m praying for you guys all the time. I hope you have a great day. And go Mavs!”