Dallas Mavericks Luka Dončić plans special holiday surprises for nearly 275 children in Dallas and Slovenia

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Luka in front of Nerf display
Photo credit Dallas Mavericks

The four-time All-NBA First Team and All-Star expands annual holiday efforts to help kids that live in his adopted hometown and his beloved homeland

DALLAS (Dec. 21, 2023) – With the holidays around the corner, Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Dončić is carving out time for his favorite tradition.

This year, the four-time All-NBA First Team and All-Star, who has been with the Dallas Mavericks for six seasons, will be helping nearly 275 children, teens and newborn babies in two different countries – his adopted community here in North Texas and his homeland, Slovenia.

Four events are planned.

In North Texas, he hosted and met up with 50 Southern Dallas kids last night at a Dallas Mavericks game. He’ll also provide gifts for babies and parents in a Fort Worth pediatric NICU unit and offer financial support to parents with mounting bills. Never forgetting his native Slovenia, his Foundation will continue to provide cheer, toys, gifts, and parties for youth in various care and treatment centers.

“My heart has always been with kids, and I know that being in a hospital, a youth center or facing hard times during the holidays is really tough. I want to do whatever I can to make these kids’ days just a bit happier and better,” said Dončić.

THE LUKA DONČIĆ FOUNDATION EXPERIENCE.

Last night (Dec. 20) 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 not only arranged bus transportation and a hearty meal at the concession stands but 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. NERF gave away NERF Nerfoop basketball hoops and NERF blasters including NERF Double Punch, NERF Elite Jr. Rookie Pack and NERF Dinosquad blasters. The youth also received Luka’s Jordan Brand signature T-shirts. The students, who departed with an array of the latest toys and gifts, were from Dallas ISD’s Cedar Crest Elementary and Boude Story Middle School, Bishop Dunne Catholic School and The Heroes Foundation.

COOK CHILDREN’S MEDICAL CENTER.

This morning (Dec. 21), 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 often long hospitalization, Dončić’s foundation is providing financial support to NICU families who are in need of assistance with paying mortgages and rent, utility bills, car payments and more.

Luka with kids - credit Redwood Stories

Luka with kids – credit Redwood Stories

“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.

Yesterday (Dec. 20), 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, along with an array of NERF items and Jordan Brand Luka signature t-shirts and hoodies. 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.

Earlier today (Dec. 21), 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 and audio equipment, to NERF toys and Jordan Brand Luka signature t-shirts and hoodies.

“Our children are emotionally very vulnerable, they have experienced many difficult moments and all kinds of abuses,” said Veržej primary school director Marija Ferenc. “During the holiday season, we do our best to make them feel the festive spirit. With your help, this year’s gift-giving event was certainly an exceptional, wonderful and unforgettable moment that will remain in every child’s heart.”

The Luka Dončić Foundation’s mission is to improve the health and wellbeing of children, working to ensure that children facing hardship are safe, healthy, cared for and loved no matter what.

To learn more, follow the Luka Dončić Foundation on Instagram.

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