The Saint Joseph’s men’s basketball team completed its “Hawks Helping Others” Christmas outreach this week by delivering gifts and the makings of a Christmas dinner to five area families.

Funded by generous donations from Saint Joseph’s fans, the Hawks' players and managers separated into smaller teams and purchased gifts and wrapped them for families experiencing poverty. The team members also purchased the groceries for a Christmas dinner and then delivered the gifts and food to the families on December 21.

"Last night’s experience left me speechless. Being an athlete you can lose the value of your blessings. Giving back gave us an emotional experience that helped put a grip on reality,” said junior captain Lamarr Kimble. “We are very fortunate for our lives, but the ultimate goal is to change others’ lives who need it.” 

“Hawks Helping Others” is in now in its 23rd year after being instituted by head coach Phil Martelli during his first season at Saint Joseph’s in 1995.

The players shopped for the gifts at the Target on City Avenue and the groceries at Fresh Grocer on Monument Road in Philadelphia, which also donated hams for each family.

"SJU is so grateful for the commitment of the men's basketball team to work with our community partners during the holiday season," said Beth McNamee, assistant director of Saint Joseph's campus ministry. "About a quarter of Philadelphians live in poverty, meaning that often there is not money for food and bills, much less gifts. The personal visits made by the team are valued as well, especially for some of their young fans.The families they visit are grateful for both the team's presence and the presents."