|Updated: 8/14/2013 5:04 pm
||Published: 8/14/2013 5:03 pm
The Kevin Durant Charity Foundation received a donation from an unlikely source.
Jay Fair, an 8-year-old from Rowlett, Texas, decided to forgo birthday presents this year, instead opting to collect brand-new pairs of shoes for children who were affected by the tornadoes that swept through Moore in May.
“I follow severe weather constantly and have always wanted to be a storm chaser when I grow up,” Fair said. “I’m also really into sports so when I heard Kevin Durant made a $1 million donation to the American Red Cross to help the victims, it got me thinking I could do something too.”
So Fair wrote a letter to family and friends notifying them that instead of presents for his birthday in August, he wanted them to collect shoes since that’s what the children in Moore needed.
“The idea has been Jay’s from the beginning,” said Jamie Fair, Jay’s father. “He’s made a tremendous effort so far and genuinely wants to help those affected. He was adamant that the shoes be new and not old ones. Also, his initial note to family and friends has slowly spread and he’s gathered more than he expected.”
Last week, Fair attended the Kevin Durant Basketball Camp in Oklahoma, where he not only got to meet Durant in-person and practice the fundamentals of the game, but also made the official donation of 82 pairs of shoes to the foundation.
“In a world so obsessed with the material and superficial, we at the KDCF, could not be more inspired by and proud of Jay, an 8 year old, who just reminded the world by his act of selflessness and compassion, that one person truly can make a positive difference in the lives of others,” said Emmanuel Bailey, president of the board of directors for the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation. “We see in Jay, what we see in Kevin, our founder and chairman, dedication, focus, and a deep concern for others. As Kevin often quotes, ‘To whom much is given, much is required.’”
Fair took photos with Durant, who has praise for him too.
“What a cool little kid with a big heart,” Durant said. “Jay is an inspiration to us all.”
“The heart, compassion and intellect Jay has displayed, shows the incredible love and direction that his parents have surrounded him with,” said Jim Buchanan, Durant’s manager. “He's an angel.”
“The foundation will distribute the shoes to organizations that demonstrate need,” Bailey said. “Clearly Jay is a leader and we plan to reach out to him and his parents to get them involved in foundation events.”