Philadelphia man wants inner-city kids to shoot basketballs, not guns

Welcome to Good People, a weekly video series that profiles individuals in our community who are helping others through selfless acts of kindness and generosity, with the goal of bettering the lives of those in need. 

Gary Mills’ mission is clear: to end Philadelphia’s gun violence through basketball.

In order to do so, Mills started the organization “Shoot Basketballs Not People,” an after-school league for the young men and women of Philadelphia’s poverty-stricken inner cities. Consequently, the lessons Mills hopes to convey helps save lives and inspire the students onto the right path. 

“We go into the darkest neighborhoods and we teach them how to dribble, we teach them rebounding, we teach them sportsmanship,” he said to AOL. The program, Mills believes, helps replace the lack of resources plaguing inner cities. 

“We see kids that are [my son’s] age and younger that are losing their lives,” explained Marilyn, whose son Mac is part of Millers’ program. “They weren’t in the program that’s organized to help them stay off the streets. It’s so sad and it’s very scary with your teenager out here and you don’t know if they are going to come home or not.” 

You can support Mills’ program here.

You should also check out this article on a 14-year-old baker who hands out cupcakes to the homeless.

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