Durant Ensures There Will Be More Positive Tomorrows

Over 43,000 children across the state of Oklahoma are homeless. It’s an epidemic that doesn’t get the attention it deserves, but on Wednesday Kevin Durant stood up to provide some of those kids some assistance they desperately need.

Positive Tomorrows is an elementary school for children who are either living out of homeless shelters, hotels, cars or that may be changing locations frequently, and that was the site of Durant’s generosity on Wednesday. Armed with a $35,000 check, Durant ducked his head through the doorway of the modest building that educates dozens of local children in the Oklahoma City area, in addition to providing meals and health check-ups.

This is the third visit Durant has made to school in recent years, and to watch him walk through the halls, it is clear that he has both a vested interest and a strong relationship with the teachers, administrators and students in the class. It hurts the Thunder forward to know what these kids are going through, but the attitudes the children have despite their lives outside of school never ceases to amaze him.

“It’s definitely disheartening, but these kids come here and it’s crazy because they’re still smiling and enjoying their day,” Durant said. “Their circumstances aren’t what they should be, but it still doesn’t affect them. It’s teaching me a lot about life, what’s important and perspective.”

“We know that we have children who are coming from some very difficult situations when they walk into school in the morning,” said Susan Agel, the President of Positive Tomorrows. “This for them is a safe place, it’s a place to be normal and it’s a place to be like everybody else. They just thrive. We see them grow and their personalities develop because they can leave some of the things they’re worried about behind them.”

Over the years, Durant has consistently made his mark on Oklahoma City in lasting ways, far beyond the basketball court. From his $1 million donation to disaster relief efforts in Moore to the basketball court he refurbished at North Highland Elementary, Durant has repeatedly made a lasting, even physical impact on Oklahoma City’s infrastructure.

Wednesday was just another example of that, as the funds Durant donated will be used to build a new kitchen for Positive Tomorrows so that the woman currently cooking breakfast and lunch for all of the children, Pam Parson, doesn’t have to continue to wake up at 3 a.m. each morning to make all of the meals from her own home. With a new kitchen in an adjacent space, the donation also helps free up more space in the school to potentially educate more of Oklahoma City’s homeless children.

“This is one of those things that is going to last forever,” Durant said. “This is what you do it for. You want to see the positive impact that you have and use the platform you have in the right way. We play basketball for a living but that isn’t going to last forever. The impact that we have on these kids’ lives will stick with them for a long, long time, way after we’re done playing basketball.”

For a school like Positive Tomorrows, food is perhaps the most important and crucial asset. Many of the children may not have eaten between the last meal they got at school and breakfast the next morning. Fueled for the day, the small classroom sizes allow for students to feel optimistic about their education and get up to speed with their peers at normal public schools.

To the staff, having Durant as their champion is an absolute blessing. After each visit, the attention Durant generates through okcthunder.com, social media and word of mouth only amplifies the desire from others in the community to get involved. With so much responsibility on his shoulders, Durant recognizes that his choices on how he gives back can make waves throughout the state, country and world.

When Durant strolls from classroom to classroom at Positive Tomorrows, there is a clear connection that has been developed, because of his time, attention and charity, but also because of his compassion.

“To do this and to come back and spend time like he does every year, there has to be a big heart in there,” Agel said. “He also understands a little bit about where some of these kids are coming from and he’s taken that to heart as well. We’re really grateful.”