Shaquille O’Neal has undoubtedly been blessed in this life. Aside from amassing a fortune during his NBA days, the basketball star has made wise business decisions and investments.
Today, he continues to reap the rewards of his hard work.
As one of the wealthiest athletes around, Shaq, 49, not only splurges on himself and his family—he also makes sure to share his blessings with others. In fact, he is known for his philanthropy and has gone viral countless times for his kind acts.
Shaq challenged himself to do at least one good deed every time he would leave the house, and it appears that the man has been faithfully sticking to this goal.
Shaq’s latest show of generosity involved a Texas family of 11, known on Instagram as “The Collins Kids.”
In an Instagram post on February 23, Karissa, the family’s matriarch, shared how they became the recipients of Shaq’s generous acts.
Last month, the sports star surprised the family with a visit and treated them to dinner at Babe’s Chicken.
“It was so much fun to just hang out and eat dinner with him,” Karissa, 36, wrote on Instagram and Facebook.
But Shaq didn’t want it all to end with a simple dinner. The following day, he took the family to a Mercedes-Benz showroom and got them a brand new, 15-passenger van!
“He didn’t even know we were outgrowing our 12 passenger van and the air conditioning wasn’t always working the greatest and so this is such an outrageous blessing,” said Karissa, who has another baby on the way. “They didn’t have any in stock and so we got to customize and order a van that should be here in July.”
Karissa’s husband, former Harlem Globetrotter Mandrae Collins, is a manager at a Mercedes-Benz dealership in Fort Worth.
After that, Shaq took them to dinner at Rainforest Café, where he paid for another table’s entire meal, not knowing they came from out of state and were there on missions.
And after learning that their waitress’ car broke down that day, the basketball legend tipped the server with a whopping $1,000.
Mandrae, 38, owned a truck that had been running without air conditioning and heat for a while. Shaq didn’t know about this, but when he saw the vehicle, he decided to take the family to a Ford dealership and bought the dad a new truck!
Aside from the meals and lavish presents, Shaq also had non-material gifts for the family.
“He also spent time encouraging us and loving on our children and speaking life into our family,” Karissa added. “I am completely lost for words.”
When a Facebook follower asked Karissa how she connected with Shaq, the blogger and owner of Rooted in Christ Boutique said that it was through Instagram.
On a January 12 post, Karissa shared the story of how Shaq got to know them.
“A few months ago he reached out to me on Instagram and sent my kids a video about how much he loved watching them and to call him Uncle Shaq,” she wrote.
Shaq said he wanted to visit them sometime, and Karissa agreed.
“We of course would LOVE to meet him and just hang out with him. I grew up watching him play ball and my kids LOVE seeing him in all his commercials and movies,” she said.
Shaq happened to be in town on Karissa’s birthday, so the star came by to see them. She described the once-in-a-lifetime experience as “surreal.”
“He came in and played “Watch ya mouth” with the kids, loved on them, encouraged them, entertained them, took pics with them, gave them gifts, encouraged us as parents, and just showed us so much love,” Karissa recalled.
Karissa noted that her two little children, Anthym and Anchor, are cautious of new people. However, they took to Shaq immediately and wanted him to hold them.
Shaq’s efforts to give back to the community are truly inspiring and something we should all emulate in our own little ways!