On October 29 The Shadow League was in Harlem, New York to witness two-time Super Bowl-winning NFL and President of G-III Sports, Carl Banks, team up with K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers to give back to the most vulnerable New Yorkers, low-income men, women and children. In this day and age it seems as if current and former professional athletes are constantly being raked over the coals for one bad reason or another, so it was only right for us to step up and shed light on acts of true altruism.
“Kids Fashion Delivers services kids in need around the country, sometimes around the world when tragedy hits or when natural disasters hit,” Banks explained. “They spring into actions and they partner with retailers and they also partner with manufacturers. That’s where my company comes in. Our company does a lot of work with them. We often contribute to some of their missions because they go in and really try to restore lives.”
For his current and past efforts at easing the pain of poverty Banks will be honored at the upcoming K.I.D.S./ Fashion Delivers Gala on November 5. But Banks didn’t do it alone. There were a myriad of likeminded organizations and individuals who believe as he does such as the New York Daily News.
“I’m being honored this year and part of that is they wanted to do a charitable affair here in New York of my choosing. And, whenever there’s an opportunity for me, I often call the Daily News. Because when Hurricane Sandy hit we saw all the places that were being serviced. But the New York Daily News had a list of communities that never got lights. And they were in the cold. So, I knew they would identify agencies of need where we could really make a difference and be of service. That’s why I’m here.”
In addition to smashing the common held belief that athletes don’t care, Carl Banks also has been an outlier to the commonly held notion of former NFL stars falling on financial ruin after their playing days are over. His G-III Sports has been flourishing for almost 30 years.
“Our company, corporately we’ve been involved for about seven or eight years. Me personally, this is my first year. The corporate entity has been around since 1985. We manufacture brands from Calvin Klein to Kenneth Cole, we do quite a bit. We design, manufacture and sale. The part of the company that I founded was GIII Sports. So we do all team apparel.
“I guess you can call it the way I was raised more than my past,” said Banks of the inspiration behind his giving ways. “I was raised in a family that taught me and my siblings to be of service to others, to do good by people. Having the opportunity to be of service is what it’s about for me.”
Banks’ clothing contribution was divided between individuals in need under the umbrella of five other groups that represented individuals from the five boroughs of New York City. Families and individuals represented by BronxWorks, Center Against Domestic Violence, Forestdale, Project Renewal at St. Nicolas House and the Dr. Theodora A. Atlas Foundation all were given quality, new clothing to weather the coming frigid months.
World renowned boxing trainer and fight commentator Teddy Atlas was on hand representing the Dr. Theodora A. Atlas Foundation, which is named after his late father.
“You connect with people. You connect with good people. That how it gets done,” said Atlas of the ongoing battle against poverty. “Carl Banks is one of those good people. I knew his foundation was involved, he knows about my foundation. He comes to my events. He comes to my dinners and we raised money for the Dr. Atlas Foundation and all the things that we do. So, when he asks me to come to one of his events I come. He asked me to come to his event and to bring some of the people that are associated with my foundation and who come from the people that we take care of, low income families that have needs. I got a group of our people and brought them up to get nice shoes and nice coats, especially with the cold weather coming. Anything Carl does we cross network. If he needs us to help with something we help him. That’s how you cross network. That’s how you make progress and eventually get to help more people. Larger groups of people in different communities.”
In addition to honoring Carl Banks, the K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers Gala will serve to raise funds for one million pieces of apparel and blankets to give to families in need. The items given out on the Donation Day will go toward that goal. To learn more about K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers log on to http://www.donateproduct.com. For additional information on Teddy Atlas’ Dr. Theodora Atlas Foundation log on to http://www.dratlasfoundation.com.