Kyle Lowry might have been having as much fun as any of the kids he treated to a Toys R Us shopping spree as part of his annual holiday celebration Wednesday morning.
“I want to make children have faith in that something good will happen to them in their lives,” the Toronto Raptors point guard said.
“It might not be the biggest thing, but it’s more about me and my wife wanting to give back to the community that we live in, that we’re a part of, that supports us.”
Lowry and the rest of the Raptors are fully immersed in the holiday season and their sense of responsibility to touch lives away from the game.
They may not be from the city, but they are a part of it.
“I’ve been here five years . . . I’ve grown as a man and a human being. I want to show them support for the way they supported me,” Lowry said. “The support I’ve gotten over the five years I’ve been here has been amazing, so it’s resonates with me.
“I want to give back, because this is a place I’ve called home for a long time. It’s pretty cool.”
The shopping event — the second Lowry and his wife, Ayanha, have put on for Toronto children while also organizing a toy drive in his hometown of Philadelphia — saw 26 students from St. Paul Catholic School let loose for a 15-minute spree. It was a surprise sprung on them by Lowry during an appearance at the school’s breakfast earlier in the morning.
It continues a focus on family at the holidays that’s been with Lowry for his entire 30 years.
“My mom worked two jobs, my grandma worked a job. We always got surprises, always got some gifts.
“My mom and grandmom did a great job of making us understand, showing us that Christmas is supposed to be a wonderful time and I’m glad I had the opportunity to give back.”
Lowry certainly isn’t the only Raptor to be heavily involved in community initiatives at this time of year. Team officials proudly point out every player on the roster did something in the community in December.
DeMarre Carroll was among the busiest and most diverse, doing everything from donating food, toys and other supplies to the Toronto Humane Society to starting a mentorship program and taking a group of 10 underprivileged children bowling Wednesday night while also covering their heating and electricity costs over the holidays.
He, too, cited his youth and the influence of his family as the reason he’s so active in his adopted hometown.
“That’s one thing my mom always told me, was you never should be down because someone has it worse than you do,” Carroll said. “I always take that and try to give back.
“It’s a blessing, bro. To know that you done made somebody’s Christmas, you done made somebody happy? It’s a blessing. At the end of the day, that’s what we do all this for, for our families and to help others and to motivate, be a role model for others.
“I feel like that’s what God brought me here to do and that’s what I want to do.”
With his wife helping a student shopper and his 5-year-old son Carter goofing around with the Raptor, Lowry was completely content being with his family and making other kids feel good.
“I want my family to be a part of it. I want them to enjoy it. I want everyone to be happy about it,” he said.
“It’s straight from the heart. People don’t know me and they might think I’m an a—— on the court, but I come from a hard place. My mom was great, my grandma was great for me and they taught me well. You’ve got to give back in this world, no matter what.”