This year, the four-time All-NBA First Team and All-Star, who has been with the Dallas Mavericks for six seasons, helped nearly 275 children, teens, and newborn babies in two countries — his adopted community in North Texas and his homeland, Slovenia.
THE LUKA DONČIĆ FOUNDATION EXPERIENCE
Dončić hosted 50 students at the American Airlines Center as they watched the Dallas Mavericks play the LA Clippers. Dončić covered all the bases for the students, most of whom had never experienced an NBA game in person. He arranged bus transportation and a hearty meal at the concession stands and surprised the kids with a meet-and-greet before the game.
|He also teamed up with a few “elves” from the NERF team and Jordan Brand. The youth also received Luka’s Jordan Brand signature T-shirts. The students were from Dallas ISD’s Cedar Crest Elementary and Boude Story Middle School, Bishop Dunne Catholic School, and The
COOK CHILDREN’S MEDICAL CENTER
Dončić’s helpers were at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth bearing a number of gifts. Hand-knit hats and blankets (created by a local knitting club) were distributed to the families of approximately 97 babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Mothers were given gift cards for manicures and pedicures (offered onsite at the Mirror Mirror Salon in the hospital), and a professional photographer was on hand to shoot family portraits destined to be treasured.
Recognizing the heavy financial strains families suffer during a baby’s lengthy hospitalization, Dončić’s foundation provides financial support to NICU families who need assistance paying mortgages, rent, utility bills, car payments, and more.
“The holiday season can be overwhelming and stressful for families with newborns in the NICU,” said Brittany McLaughlin, director of the NICU at Cook Children’s Medical Center — Fort Worth. “We are incredibly grateful to the Luka Dončić Foundation for bringing holiday cheer to our patients and families through their generous donations and financial support for our NICU families. This outpouring of kindness will undoubtedly provide them with joyful memories during this challenging time.”
YOUTH CARE CENTER MALČI BELIČ LJUBLJANA IN SLOVENIA
The Luka Dončić Foundation hosted a holiday party and distributed gifts to the 68 children and adolescents currently living at the Youth Care Center Malči Belič Ljubljana. The young people were thrilled with the surprise, receiving headphones, gift cards, LEGO sets, and more. The center serves youth who have faced significant hardships in their young lives and have been admitted in order to grow socially, emotionally, and academically without the pressures of their often-tumultuous home lives.
“It means a great deal to us that every child in the Youth Care Center Malči Belič received a Christmas present — and a real one at that,” said the Center’s principal Tatjana Pleško Zalar. “All too often, our children have the experience of being forgotten by those who should have thought of them. That is why, more than the present itself, it means even more to the children that their role model, Luka Dončič, thought of them. They feel they can identify with him because, like Luka, these children also had to grow up very quickly. They want to be successful too, especially in the most important things that they mostly do not know – having a warm family.”
RESIDENTIAL AND COUNSELLING INSTITUTION VERŽEJ IN SLOVENIA
The Foundation hosted a festive party and delivered holiday gifts to 56 children and adolescents at the center, which educates children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral problems, as well as those with learning disabilities. The youth also received a bounty of holiday treats — from games, gift cards, audio equipment, and more.
To Learn More, Follow the Luka Dončić Foundation on Instagram.