SOUTH PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia 76ers Ben Simmons took some time away from the court to make some big plays in his community.
Simmons assisted some families in need this holiday season with a surprise at Target. He helped some kids who might not otherwise had much of a Christmas pick out toys at the South Philadelphia Target store Thursday evening.
Latoya Nelson benefited from Simmons' generosity. She is a single mother who barely gets by on a part-time job and recently lost two family members.
"It's pretty hard to keep up with bills and try to find provide Christmas," said Nelson. "This is definitely a great help because I didn't know how I was going to do it."
It was Simmons' idea to gift these families with a $1000 shopping spree.
"That means a lot, to see the smiles on their faces," said Simmons. "It's just one of those things I've always wanted to do growing up, so now is the perfect time."
But it was non-profit Unity in the Community that helped the Sixers find the families who needed the most assistance.
"Struggling financially or might have lost someone, and when you lose someone you go into a depression," said Anton Moore of Unity in the Community. "I wanted to make sure we could cheer these families up."
It's an unexpected blessing for these parents, who can now focus more on spending time with family, and stress less about affording the holiday.
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76ers' Ben Simmons takes some Philly families on a holiday shopping spree