McGary Brings Joy to Local Family - Dec. 22, 2014

By Nick Gallo | Thunder Basketball Writer | mailbag@thunder-nba.com

During the holiday season, nothing can be tougher on a family than not being able to have a special meal together.

On Monday, Thunder forward Mitch McGary dropped by to join a family for a Homeland Shopping spree to help make sure that they had everything they needed for the holidays. Talitha Thomas, teacher’s assistant at Earl Harris Elementary in Bethany, and her family strolled through the aisles of Homeland with McGary to find all of the food items that they needed. Afterwards, McGary surprised the family with an extra gift card to make another trip to fulfill their needs in the future.

“It was wonderful,” Talitha Thomas said. “What a blessing this time of year to not have to panic on getting everything we need and everything that we want to be able to put on the table. The Thunder and Homeland has made it possible.”

“(McGary) was so down to earth,” Jordan Thomas, Talitha's daughter, said. “He’s part of the Thunder. It was so cool to be able to talk to him on a first name basis level.”

The Thunder rookie was impressed by how efficiently and effectively the Thomas’ were able to shop, as they were clearly prepared to take advantage of Homeland’s generosity. McGary helped the family pick out the items they needed, tried to sneak in a few non-necessities as well, to give the Thomas’ a special treat. It was a casual afternoon even if they raced through the aisles, with all involved caught up in the midst of the holiday spirit.

“They definitely had it down to a science,” McGary said. “I think they’re going to have a great Christmas dinner. I’m just happy to be along for the ride and help them get what they needed for Christmas.

“We were definitely on a mission,” Jordan Thomas said. “It was a great experience just to be able to do this. That was definitely a blessing for our family, just having someone there.”

McGary, a young man who has an uncanny ability to be comfortable with anyone he meets, made an instant connection with the Thomas family. As they talked and laughed, Talitha and Jordan got to know McGary as a person and recognized how much he cares about helping others. The bond they created even elicited a dinner invitation to the Thomas household so that the 22-year-old rookie could get the comfort of a home-cooked meal.

“We had a blast,” Talitha Thomas said. “It was a hoot. He needs a home cooked meal. He needs some apple cider and some green bean casserole.”

“It was a pleasure to meet them,” McGary said. “They’re great people. She said I’m welcome over at their house for dinner some time. I might take them up on that offer.” 

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