Imagine hearing the screams of hundreds of little kids as Bieber walks into the room….Well yesterday it wasn’t The Biebs, it was Grammy Award-winning super star, Ne-Yo! Tikes to teeny boppers went crazy over the fedora wearing sensation as he walked into the site of the last stop on The Compound Foundation’s Fifth Annual Giving Tour.
Last week Ne-Yo, The Compound Foundation and its gracious partners, Toys-for-Tots and The Boys and Girls Club of America, took the time to make 3,000 kids who normally feel unwanted and forgotten, feel special and loved. I got to witness the festivities yesterday at Richard England Clubhouse #14 Boys and Girls Club in Washington, DC! There were friendly elf-like volunteers handing out toys, clothing and books to the nearly 500 children in attendance. As I stood back and observed the holiday fanfare, I couldn’t help but notice how Ne-Yo humbly greeted and wished a Merry Christmas to each child who came into the Boys and Girls Club. I could see in his eyes he really loves the work he does with the children. *tear*
I’m sure if there was a holiday season all year round Ne-Yo and his Foundation would have a Giving Tour every week! Working with, educating and advocating for foster children is the sole purpose of the The Compound Foundation, founded in 2007 by Ne-Yo and his business partner Reynell “Tango” Hay. The Annual Giving Tour is an opportunity for the Foundation to, “provide smiles for these kids and let them know somebody cares about them,” says Loriane Smith, Foundation President and Ne-yo’s mom.
“Every year we want to go to places that need the most help. This isn’t about the glitz and the glamor. This about is being there for kids who need is most,” Ne-Yo said in an interview yesterday. Growing up in a divorced household with a single mom, Ne-Yo and his sister didn’t always get what they wanted for Christmas. What they did receive, however, was lots of love. Love that many foster children don’t have. So now that he is in a place to lend a helping hand to families in need Ne-Yo rolls up his sleeves and spreads as much love as he can to make the holidays a little brighter to kids across the country.
I wrote a few weeks ago how important it is for celebrities to not only write checks but also engage with the community. In Ne-Yo’s case he truly exemplifies what it means to give in a bigger than life way. He’s got the Friends of Ebonie stamp of approval for sure! Special thanks to Dante Simpson for inviting me to experience the Giving Tour and to Ms. Loraine who took the time to chat with me.
You can support The Compound Foundation and the Boys and Girls Club by texting NEYO to 80888 for a $10 donation to be evenly shared between both organizations.
Hats off to Ne-Yo- no pun intended- and the entire Compound Foundation family for making Christmas come true early for kids who need it most! Check out my photos from the day at facebook.com/friendsofebonie.
Remember giving comes from the heart and there’s always a Reason For The Season…