They played a charitable game.
Brookdale Hospital collaborated with the Ricky Davis Legacy Foundation and rapper Ice Cube’s BIG3 Basketball League for the annual “Dribble Out Hunger” at Lincoln Terrace Park in Crown Heights on Aug. 24.
Every year the event comes to different cities, hosting games to feed the homeless. At the event, displaced men got free haircuts and grooming services from community organizations, including the Brownsville-based community empowerment organization — Brownsville Think Tank Matters. The executive director of the group said he personally cut a half dozen heads and was excited to join the initiative.
“I’m really happy we participated in this —it’s great to see people connected together to give their time to help those in need,” said Al Mathieu.
The reaction from the men showed that something as simple as helping to improve the appearance of someone, can be a life-changing experience said Nicole Favours, an executive assistant at Brookdale Hospital.
“It was transforming. A lot of them came out looking like totally different people and they were very grateful,” said Favours. “There is really something powerful about someone taking the time to fix you up to look good.”
At the event organizers gave out produce, hot food provided by some local restaurants, and personal hygiene products. They served about 300 homeless men, and they didn’t shy away from helping anyone else who was at the park.
“We intended to feed 700 people so whoever wanted to come, women and children — we didn’t turn anyone away,” said Favours.
She said the hospital provides more than healthcare to the community. “We are the community’s hospital, and what we do goes beyond just curing illnesses, because these are also the people that we serve and we have to meet all of their needs,” she said.