PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia 76ers awarded an 11-year-old girl who has struggled with homelessness with their “Strong Kid of the Game” award Monday night.
The award is given to a young person who has persevered through challenge and includes tickets to a game , an exclusive tour of the Sixers home arena, a custom jersey and on-court recognition.
“Every game we do a Strong Kid award, a Sixers strong kid, where we recognize somebody who really defies the odds, someone who represents perseverance and determination and sometimes through some challenging circumstances and if you look at Margret’s story it’s pretty inspirational, ” said 76ers Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer Tim McDermott.
Margret Stewart and her mother Sharon Gaskins have lived in shelters for the last two years.
“It’s very hard to live in a shelter mostly with a bunch of kids you don’t know,” Stewart told Eyewitness News.
According to Project HOME, about 12,000 people (including families) live in shelters each year.
“We’re grateful because if we didn’t have our children, we’d be out on the street but part of us gets taken because we can’t give our children what we really want to give them,” said Gaskins on raising Margret in shelters.
Monday, two local stylists offered complimentary hair and makeup services for Sharon and Margret ahead of Monday night’s award. Her field hockey coach Jazmine Smith of the team Eyekonz nominated her for the award because she said despite her hardships, Margret consistently showed up to practice with a great attitude and a big smile.
“I’m proud of you,” Smith told Margret while getting her hair styled.
Recently, Margret and her mom have had more reasons to smile, they were given Philadelphia Housing Authority vouchers for a home for at least 2 years. They moved 2 weeks ago.
“I like the privacy,” Gaskins said, “because it’s just us and we can get on with our lives now.”