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Help DU basketball star feed Colorado kids in need

Bruners Good Will Basketball
Posted at 9:00 PM, Mar 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-03 11:23:57-05

DENVER — Tommy Bruner is NCAA basketball’s leading scorer and a record-breaking basketball player at the University of Denver, but his true passion is helping kids.

That’s why he started the Be Different Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit whose sole purpose is to improve the lives of Colorado children.

Bruner teamed up with Norma Jean Herrera, founder and executive director of Sharing Our Blessings Food Pantry, to serve a record-breaking 16,000 kids during the holiday season with toys. Now, they’re looking to tackle hunger.

“Everything is organic,” said Bruner, showing off a 10-pound bag of chicken that goes to every family at the Sharing Our Blessings Food Pantry.

The basketball star understands the importance of a healthy diet.

“If I don’t eat breakfast, I don’t perform,” he said. “If I don’t perform, the team may not do as well as they could.”

Bruner wants to make sure Colorado’s kids can perform at their best.

“Everybody needs food,” he said. “You can’t learn without food, you can’t sleep without food, you can’t do anything without food. I’m doing as much as I can with [Norma Jean Herrera] and Sharing Our Blessings Food Pantry to make sure everyone gets the amount of nutrition they deserve.”

“We have a lot of families that have no food at home,” said Herrera. “We give them fresh food so that they can literally go home and prepare a meal right then for the kids.”

Help DU basketball star feed Colorado kids in need

During their work together over the holidays, Herrera saw a budding community leader in Bruner.

“The kids love working with Tommy. They get excited. He’s their hero,” she said. “He’s a very good role model for the kids, very passionate about wanting [them] to have better opportunities at a younger age.”

However, you can’t feed kids with good intentions.

“For the first time in four years, we couldn’t serve our [evening] shift because we ran out of food,” said Herrera.

An influx of need along with the rising cost of food is making their mission tougher every day, especially since Sharing Our Blessings relies on fundraising. Every dollar they receive goes directly to putting food in the mouths of hungry kids.

“With so many migrants and so many newcomers coming into the state, we can’t keep enough food on the shelves,” said Herrera. “We need funding to keep going to be able to feed the children.”

“You never know what your resources can do for families,” said Bruner. “[There could be] a kid out there that right now is starving, and [they] might be the next leader in the community We [want] to give every kid or adult a chance to really reach their potential.”

They’re on the hunt for resources. But much like an opposing defense, nothing will stop Tommy Bruner from achieving his goal.

“We’re going to help whoever needs it,” said Bruner. “If you’re hungry, come to Sharing Our Blessings Food Pantry and we’ll take care of you.”

“We want anybody that’s hungry to be able to come,” said Herrera. “Hunger knows no zip codes.”

Denver7 Gives is collecting money to help Bruner and Herrera feed hungry children. You can donate to the cause by visiting Denver7 Gives and selecting "Help Tommy Feed Colorado Kids" from the drop-down menu.

Denver7 features the stories of people who need help and now you can help them with a cash donation through Denver7 Gives. One hundred percent of contributions to the fund will be used to help people in our local community.

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