Charles Barkley gifts $1K to each Leeds City Schools employee

Charles Barkley - Regions Tradition
Leeds native, Auburn grad and NBA star. Photo via Regions Tradition’s Facebook

This week, each Leeds City Schools employee received an amazing gift: $1,000 from Charles Barkley himself. The Leeds High School graduate and former basketball star is no stranger to supporting the area. Check out what this gift means for Leeds City Schools.

A gift of appreciation from “Leeds’ favorite son”

Leeds Middle School
Street sign at Leeds Middle School taken in 2018.  Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

Barkley is often called Leeds’ “hometown hero”—this gift proves how true that is.

According to, Barkley donated $1,000 to each of the 226 Leeds School District employees, including teachers and cafeteria workers. School employees always have the important job of caring for local kids, and this school year, they faced new challenges due to the pandemic

Barkley’s gift is a token of appreciation for Leeds City Schools employees who went above and beyond this school year.

Charles Barkley is a Leeds High School graduate

Leeds employees
Leeds City School employees went the extra mile this year. Photo via Leeds City Schools’ Facebook

This isn’t the first time the 1981 Leeds High School graduate has given back to the school. According to the Leeds City School District, Barkley has provided over $3M in scholarships to help hundreds of Leeds students attend college. Throughout the pandemic, he even helped fund laptops for virtual learners, plus hotspots and cleaning equipment.

“Being a school employee is tough, but driving a bus, teaching, coaching, or working in the cafeteria, all while maintaining safety protocols, has been a daunting task during a worldwide pandemic. We are beyond thankful to know our hometown hero and benefactor, Charles Barkley, recognizes the hard work and dedication of the Leeds staff, even under the toughest of circumstances.”

Leeds City Schools

When he isn’t supporting Leeds Schools, he’s finding other ways to support Birmingham. From supporting local startups in the Alabama Futures Fund to building affordable green housing in Leeds, he continues to find new ways to give back. Thank goodness for Birminghamians who commit to making our city a better place for all.

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Cecilia Wood
Cecilia Wood
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