NEW YORK, NY (DECEMBER 23, 2016) – This holiday season, Roc Nation artists and athletes displayed their continued commitment to give back to communities in need through their volunteer efforts. Over 2,000 children were impacted from the December activities ranging from receiving a toy to experiencing a fun holiday-centric activity. Roc Nation clients provided donations, volunteered their time and bought gifts to those most deserving across the country. The following is a brief overview of all efforts from members of the Roc Nation family.
Roc Nation partnered with Pay Away the Layaway – a movement to raise funds to help low income families across the country pay off layaway plans of gifts, toys, books and clothes for kids. Over 124 families of all sizes had layaway bills paid off following the efforts of Roc Nation artists and athletes.
On Dec. 10, Light Heavyweight Champion Andre Ward surprised more than 40 families in Hayward, CA during a trip to Toys R Us and paid off their layaway balances with gifts for kids. Ward also provided a donation to Pay Away the Layaway to support more families through this endeavor.
Said Ward, “To be in a position like this is a blessing. I’ve always believed it’s better to give than to receive, to be able to take the time to not only think about yourself but help somebody else. If we can have that mentality every day, and not just the holiday season, it’ll make the world a better place. You’ve got to give back.”
Victoria “La Mala” Ortiz
Singer/songwriter Victoria “La Mala” Ortiz surprised 10 families at KMART in Los Angeles, CA with Pay Away the Layaway. She also provided a donation to continue to support families in this program.
Said La Mala, “You guys have no idea what a blast I have yesterday telling a few families that Santa had already paid for their layaway at KMART. I encourage you to do a good deed for others this holiday season. Trust me, it will be the best Christmas gift for you too!”
Seattle Seahawks’ CJ Prosise sent his parents as representatives to Burlington Store in his native Petersburg, VA to surprise 17 families with Pay Away the Layaway. While Prosise was unable to attend due to team commitments, he FaceTime with families during the event wishing them a great holiday season.
On Dec. 19, Miami Dolphins’ defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh surprised 30 families at the Ft. Lauderdale, FL Burlington Store with Pay Away the Layaway. He also contributed a donation to support more families through this program.
On Dec. 20, Sacramento Kings’ Rudy Gay helped pay off the layaway for seven families at a KMART in Baltimore, MD. Gay’s sister, Yozmin Gay, the Vice President of philanthropy for the Rudy Gay Flight22 Foundation, was on hand to help surprise the families selected.
DJ Mustard made a donation to support at least 20 families in Los Angeles through Pay Away the Layaway.
Other Roc Nation artists and athletes worked through their existing foundations in an effort to give back in a big way this 2016 holiday season.
On Dec. 12, Fabolous and retired NBA star Baron Davis hosted a Black Santa Company and A Fabolous Way Foundation Winter Wonderland at The Chester in New York City. Invited guests were encouraged to bring unopened gifts for the toy drive and gift wrapping party. Over $30,000 worth of gifts were collected and donated to the Edwin Gould Services for Children and Families.
Said Fabolous, “Making someone’s holiday a more fortunate this year. At least in the future it plants the seed and hopefully a kid, when they grow up, will do the same thing and give back to more kids.”
On Dec. 12, Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant and the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation delivered holiday gifts for nine families at Oakland Elizabeth House, a residential transitional program for women with children with have experienced homelessness, violence, addiction, or poverty.
On the first anniversary of the inauguration of the RC22 DREAM School in the Dominican Republic, Seattle Mariners’ Robinson Cano surprised students and the school’s staff with a holiday celebration. Students received toys while the staff were acknowledged for their hard work with a commemorative RC22 Foundation pin.
Said Cano, “I am so proud that the RC22 DREAM School has reached it’s one year anniversary and that we were able to celebrate with a special holiday party. I owe a big thank you to the wonderful staff who work so hard every day to provide the best education for our students. Seeing the smile on all the kids faces as they received their presents during the party is really the best feeling. I can’t wait till we begin to open the doors to more DREAM schools throughout the Dominican Republic and really spread the cheer.
On Dec. 14, New York Yankees’ pitcher CC Sabathia and his wife Amber hosted the PitCCh In Foundation’s 7th Annual Holiday Party with 52 kids from the Madison Square Boys & Girls Club. The night included dancing, food and a custom shopping experience where the kids were provided with much needed clothing, backpacks, sneakers and a bike complete with helmet to promote a healthy and active lifestyle. In California, the PitCCh In Foundation partnered with Why Try program to provide 30 low income children with gifts including jackets, backpacks, gift cards and other needed items.
Said Sabathia, “Every year, Amber and I look forward to our Annual PitCCh In Holiday Party and this year was no exception. The kids from the Madison Square Boys & Girls Club take over the dance floor with performances that always top the previous year. We really enjoy taking in their reactions to their presents…it’s the best gift that we could ask for.”
On Dec. 17, Miami Heat star Justise Winslow and his family’s foundation, Robin’s House, hosted their inaugural “D.R.E.A.M Showcase”, a talent show for children from various Miami area schools. This one-of-a-kind event saw 25 local Miami children sing, act, dance, and perform in front of a full audience at the famous Lyric Theater. As the children performed, so too did Winslow, teaming up with his sister Bianca to perform the Running Man Challenge. Following the acts, guests were treated to a surprise performance by Fat Joe and rapper DLow. Winslow joined Fat Joe on stage when he performed his recent hit “All The Way Up”
Shawn Carter Foundation
The Shawn Carter Foundation hosted their Annual Holiday Toy Drive in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, NY. Over 200 youth were gifted a toy for the holidays with special support by Roc Nation artists’ Rapsody, who donated toys, and Karen Rodriguez, who volunteered her time.
ABOUT ROC NATION
Founded in 2008, Roc Nation is a full-service entertainment company, inclusive of artist, songwriter, producer and engineer management; music publishing; touring & merchandising; film & television; new business ventures; and a music label. It is home to a diverse roster of critically acclaimed recording artists, writers and producers including Rihanna, Shakira, J. Cole, Santigold, HAIM, Meek Mill, Big Sean and more. Roc Nation also has partnerships with global management companies Three Six Zero and Philymack.
ABOUT ROC NATION SPORTS
Roc Nation Sports, a sub-division of Roc Nation, launched in spring 2013. Founder Shawn “JAY Z” Carter’s love of sports led to the natural formation of Roc Nations Sports, supporting athletes in the same way Roc Nation has been working alongside and advocating for artists in the music industry for years. Roc Nation Sports focuses on elevating athletes’ career on a global scale both on and off the field. Roc Nation Sports conceptualizes and executes marketing and endorsement deals, community outreach, charitable tie-ins, media relations and brand strategy. Roc Nation Sports launched its boxing division, a full service promotional company which represents Five-Time World Champion Miguel Cotto and Two-Time World Champion Andre Ward, in August 2014. Roc Nation Sports’ roster includes premiere athletes such as Robinson Cano, Skylar Diggins, Kevin Durant, Geno Smith, Victor Cruz, CC Sabathia, James Young, Dez Bryant, Ndamukong Suh, Rusney Castillo, Yoenis Cespedes, Jaelen Strong, Todd Gurley, Wilson Chandler, Erick Aybar, Justise Winslow, Willie Cauley-Stein, Jerome Boateng, Miguel Sano, CJ Prosise, Ronnie Stanley, Henry Ellenson, Caris LeVert, Mike Gbinije, Melvin Ingram, Rudy Gay and Ty Lawson.