By Josh Cohen
December 19, 2011
ORLANDO -- Glen Davis and Justin Harper may be new to the Magic and the city of Orlando, but they are already having a positive impact on the local community.
On Monday at the Walt Disney Pavilion at Florida Hospital for Children, the two Magic forwards along with community ambassadors Nick Anderson and Bo Outlaw, Magic Dancers and Mascot STUFF visited dozens of patients and comforted them with heartfelt munificence during this holiday season.
Big smiles and incessant laughter disseminated across the facility. Holiday presents were handed out and autographs were given to the children. Families of the healing meanwhile – delighted by the benevolence of the Magic repeatedly expressed their deepest thanks.
“You have kids that want encouragement, some lifting up especially during the holidays,” Davis said. “You know you’re impacting someone’s life in a positive way.”
“This is the time of year to give thanks, compassion and love,” he added.
While the sheer kindheartedness to distribute gifts and take photos with the children and their families was undoubtedly medicating, the time spent at the hospital was filled with treasured moments.
Davis, for instance, played a game of Twister with a couple of the kids and, along with Outlaw, shared Christmas spirit by singing holiday tunes during their surprise stops at many of the patients rooms.
“Christmas is a special holiday. It’s where families get together and enjoy life,” Davis said. “I just want to see all these kids smile. That’s the most important thing.”
Harper, meanwhile, who got his first opportunity since getting drafted last June to help benefit the Central Florida community, was extremely exultant to provide a boost to so many kids in need of support.
“I love kids. It’s a positive experience for me and I want all of these kids to know that we care.” Harper said. “It’s the spirit of giving. Putting a smile on their faces is what it’s all about.”
This entire week, the Magic will be involved in a variety of holiday events as part of “Deck the Halls” Central Florida.
On Tuesday, J.J. Redick will provide 75 children from the Boys and Girls Club $100 gift cards and will take them on a shopping spree.
At halftime of Wednesday’s preseason game against the Heat at Amway Center, the Magic will surprise a local family with gifts during these difficult economic times.
And on Thursday, Jameer Nelson will deliver holiday presents to one special family.
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