RALEIGH (WTVD) -- The arrival of autumn in Raleigh's signaled by the return of hometown hoops hero John Wall and his annual distribution of backpacks filled with school supplies to the community.
"It's the John Wall Family Foundation's seventh year of hosting this event in Raleigh," said Donal Ware of the Salvation Army, who said Wall has a similar program underway in Washington, DC.
Ware said the skills Wall honed as a high school player propelled him to the NBA, "Playing for the Wizards but he's able to make it down. A Raleigh guy, he cares about those in the community. So I think that's extra special. So even though it's a drive through situation it's still an opportunity for those young children to see an NBA star."
Families stayed safe by staying in their cars as they received one of the 400 backpacks that contained masks, hand sanitizer and a Walmart gift card as well as the school supplies.
"This year has been especially tough with the global pandemic going on. We know that some families have economic hardship. Maybe lost jobs and had to shuffle money around, so we just want to be able to help them out a little bit and let them know they're not in it alone," said Candyce Jones of the John Wall Family Foundation.
His generosity lasts much longer than Saturday's activity.
"The John Wall Family Foundation does a lot for the Salvation Army in terms of us helping those in the community," said Ware. "Not only do we have those, but we have the turkey giveaway that's been going on for four years here."
Wall's activity honors his mother, Frances Pulley, who died last December after a long battle with cancer. Ware called her "Aan absolute pillar in this community. But at the end of the day, the legacy still continues on."