Deanna Nolan, Hometown Hero
“Growing up, I didn’t have stuff like this,” said Nolan, who led Flint Northern to two state championships. “I’m very appreciative of (being able to) help any way I can.”
With the money raised by the Pistons Care Telethon in March, the Pistons and Shock were able to provide 400 Flint families with food and personal care items, which Nolan helped distribute behind the church. This is the second time the Palace organization and Feed The Children have benefited Flint families; Pistons assistant coach Pat Sullivan attended the inaugural “truck stop” in May. The Shock also distributed 200 tickets to an upcoming game.
“It's always great to be involved in something like this, just to give back and show (people) that they're not alone,” Nolan said. “Folks see that you're struggling and try to help you any way they can.”
The giving began long before the food delivery. As a part of a yearlong raffle, the Abundant Life church gave away two homes to two single mothers in front of a teary-eyed audience. Afterward, the evening remained joyful as Nolan signed autographs, posed for pictures and helped distribute the boxes of donated goods, while imploring that people “not only receive things, but give and help other people in need.”
Nolan still has family and friends in Flint, and people recognize her whenever she returns to her city. When a brief slideshow showcased a nearby area, she giddily pointed to the screen and claimed, “That’s my street!”
“I always have a good time when I come here,” said Nolan, who wistfully added that she doesn’t return to Flint as often as she’d like because of the Shock’s schedule. Still, she tries to make it home at least every few weeks, proud to say, “I’m a hometown girl!”