A man pulled up in his truck right in front of SuperBad Boxing Gym last Thursday.
“What have you got here?” He shouted from the window.
“We’re giving out food for Thanksgiving,” Harrison replied.
Harrison, who won the 2018 WBC Championship, stood next to the gym he founded in 2015. He was dressed in sweatpants and tennis shoes.
“Can I take something?” The man asked.
“Yes,” said Harrison, “just park.”
On the other side of the building, a whole line of cars lined up, in which the drivers were sitting and patiently waiting in the wings. A couple of dozen people gathered on the sidewalk, all wearing masks.
“One and a half meters apart,” Harrison recalled. “Doesn’t forget about the distance.”
An hour later, 12 food racks were pushed against the side of the building, supplied by Gleaners Community Food Bank to Harrison. This amount of food was enough to feed several hundred people, and it all looked as if a small grocery store was placed on the path. On the shelves were frozen food: turkey, chicken, noodles, pork sausage, potatoes, vegetables, rice, canned vegetables, cereals – everything you need for a whole week.
About 25 children and adults did their job vigorously, putting food in boxes. One box per family.
“I can’t hold back my tears,” said Aisha Harrison-El, Tony’s mom. – This is our boxing family – the boxers themselves and their mothers take part in all this. Thanksgiving is coming soon, and this time it won’t be possible to celebrate the day the way we usually do. Although, there is a ray of hope. I’m so proud of everyone. “
And this was not some kind of public stunt.
It was a great reminder that there is good in this world, in which Harrison played a big role. He packed the boxes, gave them out and made sure there were no traffic jams. Literally – traffic jams.
“I come from this place, I have never had excesses in my life, and I understand what families need during the holidays.”
It was a terrible and emotionally difficult year for Harrison. His father, 59-year-old Ali Salaam El, died on April 20 from the COVID-19 virus at the University of Michigan hospital.
“It was a real blow to Tony,” says Aisha. – Imagine that your right hand was taken and cut off by the shoulder. Tony had a hard time. But my husband loved to do just that – to help people. He just grew up on this street. “
Charity has been ingrained in Tony’s head since early childhood.
“I remember that when they grew out of their things, I collected them and took them to school. There she gave to children in need. And mine asked: “Mom, why are you giving them away?” I answered: “Son, you won’t be able to wear them anymore, you have already outgrown. And there are children who have nothing like this, and you are lucky with that – there are things, cool sneakers, so why then keep unnecessary things at home?”
After a comic argument, mother and son were able to sort it out: this was the fifth time Tony had given out Thanksgiving merchandise.
LJ Harrison, Tony’s brother, carried the box to the car.
“Next!” Tony shouted.
Tony led the process, made sure everyone got it. He put the box in the trunk of the jeep: “Now you have everything: green peas, corn”Tony said to the driver.
Then he looked at another box: “We need more vegetables.”
Have a great weekend, Tony wished.
“May God bless you,” exclaimed 68-year-old Detroit resident Shelia Franklin.
This event was an injection of goodness, hope and a reminder that everything is fine.
This year was terrible – the coronavirus pandemic, the rift in the country – but on Thursday morning it felt like someone had pulled back a giant curtain and a ray of sunlight lit up everything around.
It was very nice.
It seemed that 2020 had come to an end.
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Posted by Tony Harrison (@ madeindetroit1990)