Jane and Edward Diogu hosted the 12th IKandy Foundation backpack and school supply giveaway at Garland’s First Presbyterian Church Saturday, July 29. Their son, Ike Diogu, was a Garland High School basketball standout, then played basketball at the University of Arizona. After college, Diogu was selected ninth overall in the first round of the 2005 NBA draft and played on several pro teams. He was also a team member of the 2012 and 2016 Nigerian Olympic basketball teams.
Ike’s mother, Jane, runs the foundation.
“What motivates me to do this year after year stems from our son’s vision to provide educational and athletic opportunities for kids from economically and socially deprived families,” Jane said. “Since its inception, the focus of the Ikandy Foundation has been underprivileged children — to help them dream, pursue and succeed.”
She added that the mission has remained the same and that it is even more important now because things get more difficult for parents every year. Jane, who is a former teacher, also saw firsthand the financial difficulties experienced by many parents.
“Our faith teaches that it is better to give than to receive, so we are doing it for God,” she said.
The main event sponsors this year were Mike and Becky Encinia of Chik -fil-A in Rowlett.
“We couldn’t have done this without them. We owe the success of this year’s event to them and their store manager, Bailee Stooksbury.”
She also expressed gratitude to First Presbyterian Church for providing space for the event and for Cheryl and Mike Clarke, church members who are always on hand to help with the event. The help of other volunteers, including Yolanda & Mike Pendleton, Edward Diogu Jr, Valen Diogu and Love & Fred Barker, was also invaluable.
With the help of all these volunteers, the foundation distributed 98 backpacks.
Garland ISD board of trustees President Linda Griffin attends the event every year and talks to the kids about things like respecting administrators and teachers, being kind, treating others the way you’d like to be treated, following the rules and more.
Each year, school counselors reach out to Jane with a head count of students who need backpacks. This year, Park Crest Elementary School Principal Andrea Kleckner and Daugherty Elementary School Assistant Principal Kathy Piland attended the event to pick up backpacks for students at their schools. They are grateful to the Ikandy Foundation for providing supplies that disadvantaged students need.
About Ikandy Foundation:
The mission of the foundation is to provide empowerment, resources and leadership opportunities to equip our next generation of leaders, from all walks of life, to believe, to achieve and to succeed. Through community events and charitable endowments, the foundation achieves its goals of inspiring and equipping a new generation. Each year, the foundation facilitates a number of opportunities for children to learn to give back, grow and change for the better. For more information, visit www.ikandyfoundation.com.