By, Pam Teel
The Millstone Times January 2019
The Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard, J.R. Smith, who grew up in Millstone Township, brought some of that holiday spirit to P.S. 22 in Staten Island on Friday. Smith’s mother, Ida, and his sister, Stepha- nie, visited a special second-grade class at the school to supply them all with Jordan and Nike sneakers.
The teacher, Anita Lisnow, also of Millstone Township, coordinated the day when she visited J.R.’s Team Swish store located in Millstone. The store sells J.R. Smith’s personal brand apparel as well as Nike and Adidas.
“I was going to the store to do something for my daughter’s school and I started talking to J.R.’s father about my class in Staten Island, that I have amazing students who have needs and experiences that I haven’t really gone through. He asked me how many kids are in my class and I told him that I have 28 students. He told me to get every one of the kids’ shoe sizes and that he was going to give them all a new pair of designer shoes for the holidays. I was in tears,” Lis- now stated. The Smith family gave the kids expensive sneakers, such as the Jordan Concord 11s, Jordan 14s, Nike Foamposite and Kyrie Irving sneakers. All of the sneakers are usually priced at about $90 each.
“It just does your heart good,” J.R.’s mom Ida stated. “My husband
said it’s all about the kids now, not about us anymore, so when Ani-
ta came to us and said she worked in Staten Island and had a great
group of kids, my husband just decided that we’ll give them all shoes. Just to see their faces and to see them so happy is all we wanted to do.” “Some kids don’t know what it’s like to get name brand shoes,” added Jr’s sister Stephanie.
Prior to giving out the presents, Lisnow read the students J.R. and his brother Chris’s children’s book, HoopSmiths. The book promotes teamwork both on-and-off the court and teaches the value of teamwork through the story of the brothers chasing their NBA dreams together.
After opening up all of the shoeboxes, trying on the shoes, and even some dancing, the students were able to personally thank J.R. Smith when his mom called him via FaceTime.
“This is our first year giving a whole classroom sneakers,” stated Ida. “We do randomly give to students in need. We donate a lot of clothes from our store to kids in need. We will continue to do this and hopefully each year do more and more through the J.R. Smith Youth Foundation and we will continue to support J.R. and Chris’s book that they wrote together. They do plan on a whole series of books,” stated Ida.
J.R. always remembers where he came from and the leaders that influenced him as he was growing up. The J.R. Smith Family Assist Foundation is a US 501(c)(3) organization and registered charity dedicated to assisting underserved children in their health, personal development, education and enjoyment of life. Learn more at: http://www.teamswish.com/#!foundation/c202h
The foundation focuses on helping and supporting others from many tough situations while providing positive influences with their involvement in numerous projects and activities. The J.R. Smith Foundation is always looking for opportunities to help those in need. “J.R.’s foundation gives to kids in need,” stated Ida. “Even to young adults going to college who may have a scholarship but might not have a meal plan because their parents can’t afford it. Our Foundation will see to it they get a meal plan.”
“J.R’s. dad, Earl, donates two sets of sneakers to the basketball team that J.R. and Chris went to at Lakewood High School every year,” Stephanie noted. “On Christmas Eve, I will be going to the Children’s Hospital representing J.R. Smith to give out gifts to the kids.”
It’s so great to see one of our own doing so much for those less fortunate. Thank you to The entire Smith family for all that you do to help others in need! Check out JR Smith Youth Foundation on facebook for future charity events, or how to donate.
Visit TEAM SWISH LLC, 910 PERRINIVILLE ROAD, MILLSTONE, NJ • INFO@TEAMSWISH.COM