Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Kevin and DeLana Harvick bring Christmas toys to children in need

Kevin and DeLana Harvick attend a Christmas party for area foster children Dec. 18
at Oak Ridge Military Academy in Oak Ridge, N.C. (Courtesy of Kevin Harvick Foundation Facebook page)
One of the great things about NASCAR is the generosity of its drivers. Many are involved in community service and have various causes they support. Some give back through their own foundations or join with other organizations to aid a variety of worthwhile endeavors close to their hearts.

The top 3 Sprint Cup title contenders of 2010 are fine examples of the generosity present in NASCAR. Five-time champion Jimmie Johnson, runner-up Denny Hamlin and regular season points leader Kevin Harvick personified the Christmas spirit by making a difference recently in their hometowns, adopted hometowns and in the lives of their fans. All three are winners on and off the track.

Over the next two days, we’ll look at how each gave back during the holiday season. Today we look at how Harvick and his wife DeLana made sure hundreds of children had toys to unwrap this Christmas.

The Harvicks: Santa’s helpers

Santa Claus may get the credit for bringing children toys for Christmas, but he has worthy helpers in Kevin and DeLana Harvick.

The Harvicks created the Kevin Harvick Foundation earlier this year with the goal of helping children in need across the country. According to its mission statement, the organization aims “to not only improve the quality of life, but to help underprivileged youth find and realize their dreams.”

This Christmas, the Harvicks participated in a very special event that would give back two-fold, aiding children not only in North Carolina, but in nearby Martinsville, Va.

On Dec. 16, the Kevin Harvick Foundation and radio station 93.1 The Wolf put on the Christmas for Kids concert and toy drive at Johnny and June’s Ultra Saloon in Winston-Salem, N.C. The charity event featured performances by country music superstar Sara Evans, up-and-coming singer Bridgette Tatum and NASCAR personality Kyle Petty. Admission was a new, unwrapped $20 toy or a $20 donation.

Two days later, the Harvicks helped deliver the toys collected from the Christmas for Kids event to area foster children from Foster Friends of North Carolina. The kids were invited to a private holiday party at Oak Ridge Military Academy in Oak Ridge, N.C. Picture more than 700 children opening Christmas presents, playing games, taking photos with Santa and having the time of their lives.

“DeLana and I are extremely thankful to have partnered with 93.1 The Wolf on the Kevin Harvick Foundation Christmas For Kids event,” Kevin Harvick said on the foundation’s website. “It is important to us to support children in need in our community. The kids that came out were amazing and we hope that they know that there are a lot of people that care about them.”

But the Harvicks’ gifts didn’t end there. During the party, seven Chase Your Dreams Scholarships from the Kevin Harvick Foundation were awarded to local children in foster care.

The scholarships will help foster kids like 14-year-old Kenya pursue what they want to be when they grow up.

“My dream is to overcome negative situations that I’m in and grow up to be a sign language interpreter,” said Kenya, who is quoted on the foundation’s site. “This scholarship will help me chase my dream by helping me pay for the classes I need in order to be able to learn sign language.”

Not only did North Carolina-area foster children benefit from the Christmas for Kids drive, but the Harvicks made sure some of the toys made their way to Martinsville, Va. They donated more than 200 toys and $500 worth of gift cards to Martinsville Speedway.

Kevin and DeLana hold the short track in special regard. The couple reside about 35 miles south of the speedway and refer to Martinsville as their “home track.”

“We are happy to donate some of the toys to our friends in need in the Martinsville area,” Harvick said in a press release. “We are extremely lucky to have received such amazing support through the toy-drive concert. The holidays can be hard and we hope all of these kids will know there are many people that care about them.”

The toys and gift cards will be distributed to underprivileged families throughout the Martinsville area.

It’s nice to think that Santa’s work was made a little easier through the caring and hard work of Kevin and DeLana Harvick.

To find out more about the Kevin Harvick Foundation, visit the organization’s website at http://www.kevinharvickfoundation.org/ or its official Facebook page. To see more photos from KHF's Christmas for Kids events, click here.

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