Beyond the ball
COLUMBIA - A Missouri basketball player and a former Mizzou student have teamed up to start a nonprofit aimed at helping local children.
Junior guard Terrence Phillips and MU graduate Ashley Reed started "Beyond The Ball" in 2017 to help enrich the lives of children in Columbia.
"It was a way for me to give back to the community to someplace that I have called home for the past three years here, that has shown me so much love and support," Phillips said.
The non-profit is currently hosting a toy drive that will end Friday evening. All of the collected toys will be given to kids at "Beyond The Ball's" first ever Christmas celebration on Sunday.
"Beyond The Ball" is asking for new and unwrapped gifts. They have a wish list online detailing what kind of toys to buy. The deadline for drop off toys is Friday evening, but "Beyond The Ball" will still accept donations online through a GoFundMe.
Donation boxes are located at:
- Jimmy's Steakhouse
- Truman's Bar & Grill
- Willie's / Fieldhouse
- Flipz USA Gymnastics
- Rise on 9th
Phillips said being able to provide gifts during this holiday season is a great opportunity to help, but said he is looking forward to meeting and interacting with the kids at Sunday's celebration even more.
"Everyone always talks about having a 'why,' why you do something. These kids are my 'why:' why I keep playing basketball, why I wake up every morning to go to school, you know wake up and work hard in basketball and practice like that. They are my 'why,'" Phillips said. "This is why I keep going. Having that interaction with them is going to go a long way not just for them, but for me too."
Reed said their initial goal for the organization was to have a flagship back-to-school backpack and school supply drive, but said they didn't have enough time to get it ready.
"We started with that idea so late, probably around three weeks before school started, which is not enough time to get donation and set the event up," Reed said. "We still wanted to do something for the community, so we were thinking what else could we do and we came up with the toy drive."
Reed said the original goal to raise for the toy drive was $2,500, but said they went past their initial goal and now are looking to hit the $5,000 mark.
As of Friday morning "Beyond The Ball" said they had around 250 toys and said they hope to reach 500 by Sunday. Phillips said he is excited to see how the kids react to some of his favorite toys from the drive.
"My all-time favorite would have to probably be this Batman mask right here. One because I’m a big Batman fan, like I’ve probably seen all the movies, and one because it lights up and everything," Phillips said. "It also has a voice changer, like I’m super excited about this. I might have to actually buy one myself, just so I can keep it in the house."
Reed and Phillips have spent hours baking cookies leading up to the Christmas celebration where kids can decorate their own sugar cookie.
The Christmas celebration will be December 17 from 5-6:30 PM at 210 St. James St.