Mateen Cleaves and 1 Goal 1 Passion Give Hope for the Holidays in Flint

Julie Bitely

| 2 min read

You may know Mateen Cleaves as a famed basketball player recognized for his athleticism at Michigan State University, the Detroit Pistons and beyond. But did you know that he also leads 1 Goal 1 Passion, a non-profit initiative aimed at bettering Michigan youth and communities? This holiday season, 1 Goal 1 Passion is going one step further to put on their Hope for the Holidays outreach.
“We do free basketball camps throughout the summer,” said Cleaves. “But for the holidays we wondered, how can we do more?”
Hope for the Holidays is a series of events that provides food, clothing and monetary support for families in need via community gatherings. Thanks to Michigan-based sponsors like Meijer, Fathead, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and others, the group is able to support over 1,000 families in need across the state. The community events feature food distribution stations, hot meals, children’s activities and meet and greet opportunities with Cleaves.
“We’re in the position to be able to help a lot of families,” Cleaves said. “The packages we give out are worth over $400, including a $100 Meijer gift card, so whether the families want toys, food or even just everyday essentials, they can get what they need to survive.”
Families in Flint were especially glad to see Cleaves and his former teammate and NBA star Morris Peterson volunteer in their area on December 11. Both are Flint natives and love giving back to their hometown.
“Giving back your time is the most important thing you can do,” said Peterson. “They [the community] always enjoy it and they always remember it.”
Cleaves also came alive playing with kids from Flint, talking to community leaders and helping families get from station to station at 1G1P event.
“I’m just happy I’m in a position where I can use my own influence as a way to give back to the community,” he said. “Trying times mean everybody has to do their part. This is my way of being able to give back.”
A final Hope for the Holidays event will take place December 21 in Clarkston. More details on both Hope for the Holidays and the event can be found here.
Photo credit: A Healthier Michigan
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