After paying a surprise visit to the family of 11, Shaq continued showering his kindness on them, one after the other.
Childcare is expensive and it can really take a toll on a family's budget and finances when there are nine children who need to be taken care of. Per child expenditure annually just on food and shelter can add up to thousands of dollars, leaving a family with little to no cash to spare for their other needs. Karissa Collins and her husband, who have nine kids and are expecting another child, were facing difficulties as they were "outgrowing" their 12-passenger van, according to a post shared on Instagram by Karissa.
A larger vehicle would be beneficial to the family, allowing them to each have their own seat. Plus, their existing vehicle's air-conditioning had stopped working. That's when something unfathomable happened. Karissa wrote in her post, "I have no words right now!!!" She was talking about NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal who himself paid the family a surprise visit at their Haslet, Texas, home.
She proceeded to describe the sequence of events that unfolded after the surprise visit. He first took the family out to dinner and got to really know them. Things did not end with the dinner. The next day, he took them to a Mercedes dealership to get them a 15-passenger van. When they found that there were none in stock, they customized and ordered a van. Karissa describes this as "such an outrageous blessing."
According to a report by the Consumer Expenditures Survey, a middle-income, two-child, married-couple family's per child spending in 2015 was approximately $12,980. This amounts to cumulative expected spending of $233,610 ($284,570 if projected inflation costs are factored in) on food, shelter and other necessities to raise a child until the age of 17, excluding expenses on college education. Given this, Shaq's kindness would have meant a lot to the family.
Shaq didn't stop there. Noticing that Karissa's husband‘s truck didn't have functional air-conditioning and heat for a while, he bought them a new truck at a Ford dealership. "Today Shaq @shaq blessed us like never before,” stated the Collins family. “Like literally no words.” That wasn't the end of it for Shaq yet. He took the family out for dinner again, this time at the Rainforest Cafe. At dinner, when he learnt that the waitress' car had broken down, Shaq tipped her $1000. He even paid fully for someone else's meal at a different table.
Karissa ended her post by writing, “He also spent time encouraging us and loving on our children and speaking life into our family.” Expressing their gratitude and disbelief at how the events unraveled, they wrote, “Somebody wake me up because I must be dreaming. Thank you @shaq times a million times!!! You have been such a blessing to us in so many ways."
The Big Diesel, regarded as one of the best basketball players of all time, is known for his generosity. Last year, he made a commitment that he would make an effort to do good deeds every time he left the house. “I’m into making people happy. Whenever I leave the house, I just try to do a good deed,” he said to USA Today.
This is not the first time Shaq has been known to go out of his way to help. A young boy was given a pair of brand-new shoes as a gift from Shaquille O'Neal. Shaq decided to make a positive impact on the boy's life after he met him while shopping in a store. When a 12-year-old was left paralyzed in a shooting by a stray bullet, Shaq gave his family an entire house. A young man was struggling to get an engagement ring, and so Shaq paid the debt off for him!
A few years ago I was getting trolled really bad.. Shaq reached out to me to give me some words of encouragement..I will never forget that kindness so I’m not surprised by this gracious act... continued blessings Big guy @SHAQ https://t.co/zWKqriyq37— Loni Love (@LoniLove) April 7, 2021
Aside from random acts of kindness, Shaq is involved in many funds and charities. Recently he donated $50,000 from a DJ appearance in Buffalo, New York, to the families of shooting victims on May 14.
In an interview with Gary Vaynerchuk on The Gary Vee Audio Experience podcast, Shaq said he learned to give back to society from his parents. “You know for me, coming from where I come from, my father was a drill sergeant, my mother just was a hard-working woman. Didn’t have a lot. But they taught me the value of giving back. They taught me the value of helping those in need,” Shaq said.