Jayhawks holiday shop for Lawrence families
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Bicycles, toys, clothes, tools and appliances were aplenty as the Kansas men’s basketball team participated in its annual holiday shopping for Lawrence area families Tuesday evening at Walmart.
For the 21st-straight year, former KU player Roger Morningstar worked with the Salvation Army to fund 15 Lawrence area families to have a better Christmas with the help of the current Jayhawks. Each family submits lists of what they want for Christmas and it is then up to the KU players, with assistance from coaches’ wives, staff and store personnel, to complete the wish list within a set budget. With the assistance of Walmart management, Morningstar organizes the two-hour event.
Roger Morningstar instructed the team prior to the shopping at Wal-Mart
“The whole thing is a highlight, to be able to come out and give back to the families in need,” KU redshirt sophomore Malik Newman said.
Morningstar gathers the KU contingent near the front of the store and distributes each student-athlete with wish lists supplied by the families. The players then grab shopping carts and head throughout the store. The full carts then hit the checkout line with the many items. After, the gifts are loaded and headed to the Salvation Army to make some Lawrence area families Christmas that much better.
“We’ve been doing this ever since we’ve been here,” said head coach Bill Self who is in his 15th season at KU. “Roger and Linda Morningstar started it back when Roy (Williams) was here. It’s a good event. We get to shop after the finals (exams) are over. Our players always look forward to coming out and taking Christmas lists, having their own budget and going out and trying to purchase some things to meet some families’ needs.”
The annual holiday shopping is one of many community service events the Kansas men’s basketball program participates in throughout the year.
No. 14/13 Kansas (9-2) will face Stanford (6-6) on Thursday, Dec. 21, at 10 p.m. (Central) at Golden1 Center in Sacramento, California.
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