Arnold Schwarzenegger Shares The Reason Behind His Generous Christmas Tradition
Arnold Schwarzenegger was seen over the weekend at the Hollenbeck Youth Center, giving out Christmas gifts to kids there. The Hollenbeck Youth Center is a place in Los Angeles for kids to have athletic and educational opportunities they might not otherwise have due to their circumstances. They offer a lot of community enrichment programs to help kids have a positive outlet and a place to go where they can play sports, meet friends, and find new hobbies.
The 76-year-old actor has made it his yearly tradition to pass out presents at the center and has been doing so for over 30 years. The reason why he decided to give back is very close to his heart. He explained, “When I first came to America, my friends at Gold’s Gym were so generous. They brought me in during Christmas time and made me feel so happy and included. I love being able to give back and see the smiles on the kids’ faces when they get their gifts. Merry Christmas!”
@arnoldschnitzelThere is a reason I have been handing out presents at the Hollenbeck Center in Boyle Heights for over 30 years. When I first came to America, my friends at Gold’s Gym were so generous. They brought me in during Christmas time and made me feel so happy and included. I love being able to give back and see the smile on the kids’ faces when they get their gifts. Merry Christmas to all!♬ Christmas In Hollis – RUN DMC
Schwarzenegger came to America in 1968 at the age of 21. He began training at Gold’s Gym in Venice and became one of the most well-known bodybuilders. In the early ’70s, he started taking English as a Second Language classes at Santa Monica College, around the time he wanted to move from bodybuilding to acting. He got a few roles and eventually, his big break came in 1982 with the film Conan the Barberian.
Schwarzenegger continued about his early days in the United States, “They gave me Christmas gifts, they had this beautiful Christmas tree and I felt so included here in America, even though I was a foreigner, I just came to this country. I will never forget that kind of sweetness and kindness and inclusion, so I wanted to do the same thing when I had the money. So this is why for the last 30-something years I’ve been coming out here. … It makes me feel good that I can share the kindness and inspire other people to do the same thing.”
Not only does Schwarzenegger visit the center during Christmas time, but he also gives out turkeys to members of the community around Thanksgiving. At the time he wrote, “A three-decade tradition. Giving out turkeys at the Hollenbeck Center in East LA! How do you give back this time of year? 💪 ❤️” A nice reminder that it is always better to give than receive during the holiday season!