Boxing champ “Shock” Foster leads team to knockout Thanksgiving hunger

Published 12:16 am Wednesday, November 22, 2023

ORANGE — Since earning the WBC Super Featherweight Title, hometown hero O’Shaquie “Shock” Foster continues to show love to Orange.

On Aug. 5, Foster hosted a Back to School Drive, and on Saturday the first inaugural Shock Turkey Drive helped ensure 300 families would have Thanksgiving dinner.

During the event, Foster expressed the importance of giving back and how it can change narratives.

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“It’s a blessing, it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do,” he said. “I feel like I didn’t see too much of this growing up. It’s giving the kids hope, giving the people something different. It’s something that I strive for so I’m excited about it.”

Plans for the donation drive began when the WBC Champion contacted Just A-Lil Help, a nonprofit founded by Orange Councilwoman Terrie Salter.

The inaugural event donated 300 turkeys along with pantry items thanks to 22 cosponsors.

According to Salter, her faith-based mission with Just A-Lil help is a partnership between community members.

“We’re all here to help one another in this world,” she said. “We are all brothers and sisters, so we are family. If I have a piece of bread, it is my job to make sure I share it with my brothers and sisters. That’s why Just A-Lil help has come. We are filling in the gaps where we can.”

During Saturday’s event, nine area residents expressed interest in joining Just A-Lil help.

On event day, community members were invited inside St. John Missionary Baptist Church of Orange, located at 505 North 15th Street, to receive shelf stable pantry foods.

The giveaway including boxed stuffing, cranberry sauce, canned vegetables and boxed cake mixes thanks to the Golden Triangle Polymers Company.

Salter said Polymers donated 3,900 shelf stable dry goods.

Sold Rock Church of Orange, Just A-Lil Help and the Blossoming Minds MLK Gala Committee contributed bagged beans, bread, cornbread, instant mashed potatoes, cream of chicken soup and boxed cake mix.

After receiving pantry items, community members were invited outside, where Foster and his team had turkeys.

Foster took the lead on the giveaway. He ensured that people had assistance from his team to carry their now full box of Thanksgiving Day groceries to their vehicles.

He took pictures with community members, socialized and enjoyed reuniting with former teachers and childhood friends, many who await his early 2024 ESPN debut.

His next fights are made possible by a new promotional contract with Top Rank Boxing, one of the most successful boxing promoting agencies in the world.

“Top Rank is one of the greatest accomplishments of my life, it had Muhammad Ali, Floyd Mayweather. Everybody came through Top Rank,” he said. “To be able to fight on ESPN, and be from a small town like Orange, it keeps me focused. It keeps me humble. It makes me want to do more, bring more to the city.”

— Written by Shari Hardin