DeMarcus Cousins wasn't going to let those in need go without a Thanksgiving dinner this year.
The two-time All-Star partnered with the Kings community team to donate 300 Thanksgiving meals to families throughout Sacramento. The majority of families picked up their dinners from Cousins at the Robertson Community Center.
Cousins then met up with the Sacramento police department and went door-to-door in the communities of Northgate, Strawberry Manor and Del Paso Heights to deliver holiday meals. The majority of the families Cousins visited were single-parent homes.
Cousins grew-up in a similar environment, without a father figure in Mobile, AL and he could relate with what he witnessed as he stepped into their homes.
In almost every case, the residences were overpopulated with children and a single-mother who trying to make ends meet. In one case, a grandmother was forced to sleep in the living room by the front door on an air-mattress.
"The grandmother was sleeping on an air-mattress. (It was) the same situation for me," Cousins told ABC10. "(It was) the same situation for me. Coming up in high school, I slept on an air-mattress. So, it's tough. I understand the struggle, I understand the grind that these families are going through."
Since coming to Sacramento in 2010, Cousins has donated his time and attention to the area of Del Paso Heights community. He's been seen on the sidelines of football games and in the stand during basketball games at Grant Union High School. He even covered the funeral expenses for the family of Grant football player J.J. Clavo, who was murdered at the high school after school last November.
"The smallest thing can help that family and put joy in their life," Cousins said. "That was the purpose of today and that was for all these families today; just to put a little happiness and a little joy in their day and in their holidays. And let them know that people are aware of their situation and people do care, and that there are people out here that do love and support them."
Mervin Brookins, the President of the Grant Youth Sports Program said members of the community appreciate the presence of Cousins, much more than any financial contribution.
Brookins traveled house-to-house with the Kings All-Star and even told him that his presence in the community over the years has been more than some of the fathers of the kids from that area.
"For somebody like DeMarcus to come and sit-down at your kitchen table and not be rushed, and genuinely give his time, he shows these kids that he cares," Brookins said. "To say that he changed lives, he definitely did that tonight."
Cousins' teammate Garrett Temple also delivered turkeys to low income families on Tuesday in Roseville. He was joined by former Kings player Bobby Jackson and the Roseville Police Department.
A day earlier, Kings players Rudy Gay and Matt Barnes, a Sacramento native who attended Del Campo High School, spent part of Monday donating Thanksgiving meals.
The Kings organization has set up several events that run throughout December as part of their "Season of Doing Good."
Follow Sean Cunningham on Twitter: @SeanCunningham
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