Most people know Xavier Silas as a basketball player, but he is also a modern-day philanthropist. Beyond basketball success, Silas is trying to alleviate poverty across the world. First stop, Haiti.
For Silas, the decision to start with Haiti was pretty simple: “You have to start somewhere, no favoritism there. We will hit a new place with every new concept. It is just where we happened to start.”
This has been an idea of Silas and long-time friend Will Hart, who teamed up with Lamar Blake to create Happy & Free – a clothing company that promotes a lifestyle as such. For every t-shirt sold, a school uniform will be donated to a child in need. Right now, the goal is to get 4,000 kids in Haiti a school uniform by mid-September.
“When you do anything you should be happy and free,” says Silas. “Let’s say you are golfing, barbecuing or watching TV, you should always be both happy and free. I think that is something you should approach life with.”
When it comes to charitable ventures and giving back, Silas has always been about it. Athletes have another standard set for them when it comes to donating, doing charitable events and assisting organizations.
“I see a lot of NBA Cares and NBA Fit stuff so I know there are a lot of people who do charitable acts,” says Silas. “But I do know it is tough being an athlete, trying to do other things while focusing on your craft. People do a good job of balancing and making their imprint. We can all do better though.”
If you want to buy a shirt, vist www.shophappyandfree.com.
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Kristofer Habbas for Dimemag