A local foundation aimed at empowering at-risk youth has shifted its focus in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. Those involved with the Jimmy Stone Memorial Locker Room Project have been delivering meals, gift cards, and exercise equipment to children in need.
The Rajon Rondo Foundation started locker room projects around Louisville to help children earn a variety of items and incentives with positive behavior. One of those locker room honors Louisville Water employee Jimmy Stone who was killed last summer while working at a job site. He and a fellow team member, Chad Harper, were hit by a car as they were repairing a hydrant at 23rd and Oak streets.
Jimmy’s widow, Carla Stone, along with employees and Louisville Water’s Local 1683, partnered with the Rajon Rondo Foundation to open the Jimmy Stone Memorial Locker Room Project in December in the Neighborhood House. Rondo is a Louisville native and former University of Kentucky basketball player. He currently plays for the Los Angeles Lakers.
“Even though the center is closed, our light is still shining in the neighborhood,” said Yvette Gentry, executive director of the foundation. “We are supporting our kids by delivering groceries and exercise equipment to their homes each week to make sure they are okay.”
Gentry said deliveries also include gift cards for basics such as cereal and milk if needed in between deliveries. Gentry, Carla Stone, Rajon Rondo, and their families have been involved in putting together the boxes of food and making these deliveries, too.
The foundation also donated 40 bikes to Byck Elementary, partly funded by the Jimmy Stone Memorial Locker Room. During home visits, administrators delivered the bikes to students who needed one.
“We wanted to encourage them to get outside and get active so they stay emotionally and physically fit,” explained Gentry.
The foundation started these community locker rooms to show children that good choices and hard work pays off. Normally, the project uses a positive behavior-based point system that allows children the chance to earn clothes, shoes, toys, and other extracurricular incentives.
Those interested in donating to the Rajon Rondo Foundation’s locker room projects, use this link. If you would like donations to go directly to the Jimmy Stone Locker Room Project, email firstname.lastname@example.org