Korey Wise never ceases to amaze.
Living in Los Angeles, I’ve had the luxury of crossing paths with the man who’s blossomed into the unofficial ambassador of The Exonerated Five a number of times. And despite the unspeakable horrors he endured at the hands of our criminal justice system, as told by Ava Duverney’s brilliant miniseries When They See Us, I find myself constantly in awe of his quiet strength. How can a man who’s suffered such inconceivable trauma always be a beacon of light?
And true to form, the Amsterdam News reports that the 47-year-old joined forces with Friends of Public School Harlem and the Migdol Family Foundation to host a holiday gift giveaway in Harlem, N.Y., on Monday.
Donning a bright red Santa hat and his signature smile, Wise blessed more than 200 families from Lehman Village Houses and the surrounding area with a brand new toy of their choice.
“It was great to see the smiles, hear the screams of excitement, and receive the hugs from parents and children,” Wise told the Amsterdam News. “Being here and providing holiday cheer to children and sending a message that somebody cares is a great feeling. I thank the Friends of Public School Harlem and the Migdol Family for making it happen.”
Jerry Migdol, founder of the Migdol Family Foundation added, “We are just happy to be part of this and be able to give back to the community we love. It’s always so much fun to spend time with these kids and make their holiday special. There’s nothing better. We invite everyone to join us for upcoming Chanukah, Christmas and Kwanzaa events.”
Wise’s efforts to spread Christmas cheer throughout his old Harlem stomping grounds caught the attention of Twitter as well:
But for Wise, it’s abundantly clear that this isn’t about chasing likes or retweets. It’s about giving “back to my old community where I used to hang out.”
“It makes me want to cry,” he told PIX11. “It gets emotional.”
And we’re all better for having someone like Wise as an inspiration in our lives.