Lake View native Shaquille Leonard gifts students with backpack giveaway ahead of new school year

Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 9:10 PM EDT
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LAKE VIEW, S.C. (WMBF) - Something as small as a backpack is going a long way for students and parents at Lake View Elementary School.

On Thursday, doors opened to students and parents so they could meet their teachers for the upcoming year.

Every student who left the open house, left with a smile, and a new backpack.

That was a huge deal for Derek Kampta, who has a fifth grader at Lake View Elementary.

Kampta said he works long hours to provide for his son.

“That’s a huge blessing right there,” he said. “Like me, I average 50-60 hours a week. It’s hard to run to a store after you get off to do something like that. Just to know that was something just given to him, that was a big blessing.”

The blessing was provided by Shaquille Leonard of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts.

The All-Pro linebacker never forgets his days as a former student at Lake View, as volunteers with his Maniac Foundation helped to distribute backpacks filled with school supplies.

While Leonard was unable to be there in person due to the start of the preseason, those with the foundation are hopeful it impacts the future of his hometown.

“We were once these kids in these same hallways,” said Raymond Foxworth, Leonard’s manager. “So we know how hard it was to get school supplies at the beginning of the year or being stressed about not having a pencil. I get chills walking through seeing the same teachers I had. So it means a lot to see the smile on kids’ faces too when they get a book bag.”

Around 380 students benefited from the backpacks, and it’s something parents say won’t soon be forgotten.

“Somebody like that who remembered the area that much, that the area did something for him and he decide to turn around and give back. We’d all like to do something like that every day,” said Kampta.

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