Tuesday night was opening night for Sasha and the Lakers and it was time for them to get their long-awaited rings. The Lakers hosted their cross-town rivals, the Clippers on their home turf and got their first victory of the season.
However, it was also a very special night for a group of 32 kids and their chaperones. These kids won the ticket contest placed on Sasha’s site to attend the first Laker game in a series of 82 games.
It wasn’t an easy task for these kids to win the tickets. They had to perform acts of kindness for others in order to be considered. The kids did various tasks such as going green, volunteering in the community, and fundraising for school unity, like what Jina Yoo, Sean Leston, Jung Hur, Andres Flores, Aimee Berrios, and Ericka Jones of Los Angeles Center of Enriched Studies (LACES) students did.
Others simply helped out at home. Halldale Avenue School student Bryan Urquilla made a cane for his mother when she was having trouble getting up. When he grows up, he wants to get her a better one.
Some of the kids also give back to other kids. Normandie Avenue School student Ariana Amaya wants to help a children’s orphanage by organizing a toy drive, making flyers, writing letters to major companies asking for donations, and planning a party for the kids.
Garey High School student Angel Gerardo tutors Daniel Flores, a 6th grader who was diagnosed with Sensory Integration Dysfunction, a neurological disorder in which the brain has problems with sensory processing. Daniel is a huge Lakers fan and teachers call him a “Walking Sports Dictionary.” Angel’s act of kindness was to give his ticket to Daniel because he learned a lot from Daniel. Daniel attended the game and was tested on his Lakers knowledge. Needless to say, he did a pretty good job.
When the kids arrived at the game, they were really excited to be there. Several of them had colorful posters for Sasha and the Lakers. They would scream when a Laker made a shot and they were shown on the Jumbotron, flashing their signs proclaiming their love and appreciation for Sasha and the Lakers. During the game, I overheard them discussing the game and speculating what would happen next. They were very enthusiastic about the game, cheering on their favorite team.
After the game was the most exciting. The winners got to meet Sasha himself. When Sasha came in, all the kids were excited to see him. Before talking to them as a group, Sasha approached each and every one of them. He introduced himself like a true gentleman and he was glad that they made it.
Sasha, being the gracious host that he was, made sure that the children enjoyed themselves. He asked who the best was, and they all said “Lakers” and “Sasha.”
As an extra reward for their acts of kindness, Sasha signed autographs and took pictures with the kids. The children were very polite and said “thank you” as Sasha said “you’re very welcome.” One of the more hilarious parts about Sasha’s meeting with the children was when he signed t-shirts and put them all on his head.
Sasha also recorded a very special message for one of the winners, Alberto Chavez, who was unable to make it to the game. Alberto, also a Garey High School student, lost both of his parents at six years old. At 14, he became involved with Police Explorers, the Boy Scouts, and the Avid program, intended to increase the percentage of college students.
“I’m sorry you couldn’t make it. I got your essay… it was pretty amazing… and I hope you can come next game,” Sasha said in his video message to Alberto. He also signed a “New journey, same goal” t-shirt, which was the free gift for the fans that attended the game, for Alberto.
Giving back definitely has its rewards. What Sasha did for these kids was phenomenal and a great treat for these generous kids. This great group of kids touched our hearts with their wonderful acts of kindness. As the Golden Rule says, “Do onto others as you would have done onto you.”
SashaVujacic18.com encourages YOU to perform acts of kindness. Feel free to share your stories below!