By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (CBS) — Former boxer Paul “Earthquake” Moore, a Philadelphia native, spent his young days without, so he’s devoted his adult life to making sure others have more.
And this holiday season, the former junior-welterweight has been spending his days riding Septa, visiting police districts and housing projects in Southwest Philadelphia, dressed as Santa to give toys to kids in need.
“People have Santa Clauses,” says Moore. “I’m the ‘Community Claus,’ because I’m constantly in the community and I’m a community activist.”
A sanitation worker by day, the US Army veteran is also a preacher and volunteers his time throughout the year. Some of his initiatives include a turkey drive in which he delivers Thanksgiving dinner to those in need.
“This year we raised 124 baskets,” Moore notes proudly.
This Christmas, Moore will deliver presents to five families. In January, he says, he’ll put on shows in which he portrays Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“I had a dream that one day I’d do him,” says Moore. “I just want to do something that the kids will remember.”
Moore says he grew up in the projects of Southwest Philadelphia and his mother struggled with drug addiction. He says they didn’t have much and neither did his friends.
And he says one of his most heartbreaking memories was losing a friend when he was just ten years old.
“He starved and froze to death in a house in Greys Ferry,” says Moore. “I’ll never forget that. And ever since then, at age ten, I vowed to help my community. Maybe it’s because I couldn’t do anything then.”
Now 55, Moore isn’t that little boy anymore. He’s a husband and father, a community activist, rallies the community against violence, and chairs the Southwest Community Development Corporation (SWCDC).
“I want my legacy to say that I helped somebody,” says Moore. “I do this to spread joy.”
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