Danilo Gallinari Lends a Helping Hand at Homeland

Danilo Gallinari Lends a Helping Hand at HomelandParis Lawson

By Paris Lawson | Digital Content Reporter | mailbag@okcthunder.com

Amanda and Jose Gonzalez go through over 50 pounds of meat a week. With 10 kids under their roof and one on the way, they have learned to be master administrators of organizing shopping trips and how to make the most of grocery runs.

Feeding 10 growing children between the ages of 1 and 13 is no small feat, let alone making sure they all have school uniforms and getting each one to where they are supposed to be each day. After recently losing their grandmother who played a pivotal role in helping with the children, it has been up to Amanda and Jose to orchestrate and fill the needs of each child. With Jose at work during the day, Amanda serves as the primary coordinator of family meals and food needs.

So when she arrived at Homeland on Wednesday for a shopping spree in partnership with the Thunder and Homeland, Amanda was fully prepared with a list of everything the family needed.

What she couldn’t prepare for was the reaction her kids would have when 6-foot-10 Thunder forward, Danilo Gallinari came to help them do their grocery shopping.

“When they came in they were all just amazed and saying ‘wow, he’s tall,’” Amanda Gonzalez said with a chuckle.

On his way to Homeland after practice, Gallinari admitted that it’s times where he gets to help someone in need that he remembers just as much as when he scores a game-winning bucket.

“Honestly, I just can’t wait to get to that moment,” Gallinari said as he thought about the smiles that he would see in just a few moments.

The large group of 13 navigated through the aisles following the carefully organized blueprint of items Mom crafted for them. The list included everything necessary to make a Christmas meal such as a turkey, potatoes, broccoli and dinner rolls. There were no sugar-stuffed snacks or one-plate dinners in the cart that kids typically gravitate toward, only items that would help feed the entire family for as long as possible.

This proved to be a difficult endeavor for the younger members of the group who caught a glimpse of some fresh cantaloupe in the produce section and were on a mission to convince their mom to add it to the cart. Eventually, Gonzalez relented even though it wasn’t on the list, and the kids were granted a pack of fresh cantaloupe only after everything else on the list had been checked off.

“It was a relief because it was food they needed,” Amanda Gonzalez said. “Not just food that they wanted, but food they needed.”

Perhaps having an NBA player help in the grocery shopping took some of the attention away from what was actually going in the cart for the children. Between posing for pictures, high-fiving and showing off his above average wingspan, cantaloupe was the only food item that caught the kids’ attention throughout the entire event.

Gallinari thinking back to his expectations leading up to the shopping spree and thought, “It was maybe even a little better. I think it was great especially to see how excited they all were.”

The group checked out and loaded up two shopping carts full of fresh groceries. After taking a group picture, Gallinari presented the family with another $500 Homeland gift card for use in the future. For Amanda, the master food coordinator for her family, that gift card meant more than words would allow.

“I was speechless. I wanted to cry,” Gonzalez admitted. “It was a shock because I’ve never had anybody just do that. It’s always ‘how am I going to do things, how am I going to get things’ and I’m going to make sure every little thing goes to use to whatever I make to prepare for the kids.”