Jarrett Allen Spends An Afternoon Grocery Shopping With 25 kids


Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen made Thanksgiving a lot more memorable for 25 families after taking some local kids on a shopping spree at a Clinton Hill supermarket.

For the second year in a row Allen partnered with Key Food, 4-H Youth Development program and the Brooklyn Nets to bring kids together from the Ingersoll Cornerstone Community Center at Ingersoll Houses and Children of Promise NYC for Thanksgiving Shopping Spree on Sunday afternoon.

While the 20-year-old San Diego native is still new to Brooklyn, he has certainly made sure to leave an impact for the community, and for Allen it all started at home.

“Its has always been in my family. My grandma really instilled it in my whole family. From my mom down to us, we were always taught to give back to our community,” said Allen before helping one girl grab juice from the top shelf and a young boy choose Cookies’n’Cream ice cream for Thanksgiving dessert.

Nets Center Jarrett Allen shopping for his Thanksgiving dinner. Photo taken by Jonathan Gomez.

For the shopping spree Allen provided the children with a $100 gift card, and a grocery shopping list––including ingredients to his mother’s macaroni and cheese dish, which is a personal favorite of his.

Along with the Thanksgiving preparation the kids also received a Jarrett Allen calculator to help teach the value of budgeting as they tallied their costs throughout the store, an important lesson they have been learning through both organizations.

“This is essentially what we teach in our Battleship class. We want to teach kids how to budget money, and have a healthy lifestyles, but for them to experience it like this is surreal,” said Tyhiem Floyd,31, Associate Director for Ingersoll Cornerstone Community Center, which serves over 2000 children, teens and adults from Ingersoll Houses.

Children of Promise NYC, which was founded in 2009, is the first and only after-school program and summer day camp specifically designed to meet the needs, interests and concerns of children left behind by a parent serving time in prison. Since its inception, CPNYC has provided services to over 1,500 children and their families.

“Me and my daughter have been with Children Of Promise for about 5 years and it has been such an anchor of support for the community and whether it is their family engagement or mentorship programs, which my daughter is a part of, there is just tremendous support all around. Its truly been a blessing,” said Charisse Adams, 38, a social worker whose daughter Cheyanne Crowder was one of the kids to receive a $100 shopping spree gift card.

One of the 25 kids using their Jarrett Allen calculator while shopping for Thanksgiving. Photo taken by Jonathan Gomez.

Spending an afternoon with a 6’10 NBA center was without a doubt exciting for the kids, but there was much more to the two hour shopping spree than asking Allen about dunking on LeBron James, crossing over Allen Iverson and how hard it must be to find clothes when he’s so tall.

“We had a kid here today who never smiles, because it’s just not what his personality is, but today, today he’s been smiling ear to ear, because for him it meant something to be able to buy food for his family,” said Floyd as the kids were wrung up for their turkeys, yam,cranberry sauce  and other Thanksgiving goodies.

“Let me tell you, opportunities like this don’t come often and for some of these kids, like him, it’s one less thing his mom has to worry about during the holidays. He just feels like he just saved her $100 that she can use for something else, continue Floyd.

And for Allen that’s all that mattered on Sunday afternoon.

“That’s the reason this event is important to me. To impact even one family and help them have a better Thanksgiving means the world to me. I’m so thankful to have the opportunity to give back,” said Allen.