Former Drake Basketball Star Holds Christmas Celebration to Help Families in Need

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- A former Drake basketball star and community activist spread holiday cheer at the downtown YMCA Friday.

Jeff Hill held his fourth annual Christmas celebration to help families in need. Fifteen families nominated by local churches were supplied items to make the season easier for them. Hill says seeing how the families react is why he does it.

“When they saw all this stuff, a lot of them broke down in tears because when I said I was going to sponsor a family, they didn't know I was going to sponsor them this heavy. We're taking care of the whole Christmas -- mommy, daddy, food -- all kinds of stuff,” said Hill.

"There's a lot of hungry people out there. [There are] a lot of hungry kids that don't get this opportunity to get gifts from Santa and free turkeys and something to eat period, so it's really a blessing,” said Brenda Hutchinson.

Along with helping families during the holidays, Hill holds a basketball camp for kids each summer.

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