Perkins Takes Family Grocery Shopping

A trip to the grocery store may not mean a fresh start, but for one Yukon family, their most recent trip to Homeland meant they could restock their pantry and spend an afternoon with a Thunder player.

Keramat Taghizaveh and his four children, who range in age from 8 to 13, met center Kendrick Perkins on his day off and filled three carts with all their grocery needs and wants, courtesy of Homeland and the Thunder.

This is the Thunder’s second grocery shopping spree this year, and the third year the team has partnered with Homeland for the program.

“They’re great kids, and I’m just happy they had me be part of this to help them grocery shop,” said Perkins, who towered over the family and most of the grocery shelves. “We’re starting the new year off right.”

The Taghizaveh family was referred to the Thunder as a candidate for a Homeland shopping spree by Karmen Wilson, a counselor at Mustang Creek Elementary where some of the children attend.

“[Karmat] works a full-time job [and] goes to school full-time,” Wilson said. “We’ve just worked with them for a long time and tried to help them out any way that [we] can because he just works so hard to give them a good home.”

The children’s school takes part in the Food for Kids program through the Regional Food Bank, which helps families like the Taghizavehs to give their children the nourishment they need.

Filling three carts full of groceries is not something the family is used to doing, but with Perkins’ help, they quickly began to enjoy the freedom to choose what they wanted.

“We just kind of threw everything in the basket,” said Keramat. “Asked the kids what they wanted and threw it in.”

As the family walked up and down the aisles, Perkins pushed the cart and offered some suggestions about what they ought to get, from frozen meals to fresh items – and a few extras.

“He knows people. He knows what they like: candy,” smiled Keramat’s daughter Brianna.

The children’s grandmother joined the group during their shopping spree, and Felicity, the youngest daughter, was anxious to take her to meet their new friend Perkins.

“He big,” the girl told her grandmother as she led her through the store. “He really tall.”

“This is such a Godsend,” said Chris Helms, the grandmother, who lives with the family. “We have a big house, but we have a full house … and groceries go really quick.”

Though Perkins may have a reputation for scowling on the court, the family agreed on one term to describe him that may surprise Thunder fans: nice.

“He is awesome! He is so nice. Is he really that nice all the time?” said Helms. “He was just so heartwarming.”

“I had an enjoyable time,” said Perkins as he sent off the family with hugs and high-fives. “It’s always good when you give back to the community and show blessings because I was … a child who grew up who wasn’t fortunate to have these types of situations.”

He knows what an event like this means to the Taghizaveh family, who also received a Homeland gift card for future use. And even if he didn’t, it was clear from the looks on their faces that they relished this opportunity.

“It was just amazing to see them have no limits because this is a family that I think lives within limits,” Wilson added. “Just to see them ‘free for all’ in the grocery store was just amazing.”