MILWAUKEE – Thanksgiving has arrived in America and with it comes a day full of eating, watching football and spending time with family.
For the Milwaukee Bucks' Thon Maker, it also brought about the second annual ‘Thon’s Giving’, where the kind-natured big man spent time with some young members of the Milwaukee community.
This all started last year for Maker, when he joined forces with the Boys and Girls Club in Milwaukee to hand out one hundred turkeys to the youths in the city. While this was a fantastic initiative, it was only the beginning for Maker, who wanted to expand the event the second time around.
“This year I wanted to be more personal, sit down and have a talk with people and spend time with them while there are enjoying themselves and eating as well,” Maker explained.
This Thanksgiving, it was the Big Brothers, Big Sisters group that was the chosen organisation. Big Brothers, Big Sisters is built around providing youths facing adversity with one on one mentoring relationships in a professional environment.
“This year we did the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program instead and I had 19 littles and 19 bigs. We all just had a sociable event where there was like a trivia about me and where I’ve been and the kids had some questions for me. We just had some good conversations.”
Outside of simply handing out food, Maker wanted to ensure the experience was more than that for the youths in attendance.
“They ate, they had meals and dessert and after that we took some pictures, signed some autographs and gave some gift cards out to the bigs, and handed out a gift package with some Bucks and Packers gear also.”
Giving back to the community is important to Maker, and his passion shows as he talks about using his platform to help the less fortunate. A simple question about how the day went, gets Maker running through the day in detail, before revealing his greater plans moving forward.
“It was something really good this year, but I’ve always wanted to expand it and make it a bigger event,” Maker explained.
“Next year I have a vision of possibly getting a bigger room, but the reason it’s tough to make it big is because I do want to sit and talk with these people and spend some time with them. Last night was two hours, in the future maybe it could be five hours if I can get one hundred people which is my goal.”
As the conversation with Maker wrapped up and he began to walk away, he finished by adding, “maybe one hundred bigs and one hundred littles. Happy Thanksgiving.”