Arinze McGee-starts charity to help get sports equipment to kids in Liberia

Four years ago, Arinze McGee was on vacation with his family in Liberia when he realized the very idea of “time off” was foreign to his peers.”A bunch of kids didn’t have the opportunity I’ve had to be able to play,” McGee said.

McGee, now 10, took that learning experience of seeing young children selling biscuits on the streets in Liberia and has launched a charity aimed at providing sports equipment and school opportunity for children in the country.

Oct. 28, 2015; Portland, OR, USA; Bill Schonely shows his championship ring to Blazers’ fan Arinze McGee,7, before Portland takes on New Orleans Pelicans in the home-opener at Moda Center at the Rose Quarter. Photo by Jaime Valdez

“I could be one of the only kids in the world who said, ‘Hey, I’ve raised $10,000 to help kids in Africa,'” McGee said.

Since returning home to Portland in 2014, McGee has a “no gifts” policy for his birthdays. He has collected enough sports equipment with those deferred gifts to fill up his mom’s car, and once McGee gets enough money for shipping the various shoes, cleats, soccer balls, and shin guards, the equipment is heading to Liberia.

“We have some shoes and a shirt,” McGee said while digging through boxes of the gear. “Another basketball.”

McGee turned 10 years old in May and kept hounding his mother that it was now time to launch his charity. The boxes of sports equipment weren’t enough in his ambitious eyes, he wanted to raise $10,000 to help send the kids to sports camps and school.

“When I reach that goal, it’s just going to feel so accomplishing because, man, I’ve been grinding for the past four years,” McGee said.


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