December 16, 2013

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Mateen Cleaves is doing his best Santa Claus impression this holiday season.

The former Michigan State basketball star is the driving force behind an effort to give holiday gift packages to 1,000 families in need.

As part of Cleaves' "1 Goal, 1 Passion: Hope for the Holidays" initiative, families struggling to meet the financial demands of the season are getting a package that includes meals and gifts.

Gift-giving events are planned for Boys & Girls Clubs in Lansing on Monday, Flint on Tuesday and Detroit on Friday and Saturday.

Gifts are being made possible with the support of sponsors, but a fundraising effort is ongoing. Initiative organizers are encouraging members of the public to give a tax-deductible donation through Saturday.

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