Daily Sports Smile: Chicharito gives away backpacks, encourages kids to 'have fun' at school

Victoria Hernandez
USA TODAY Sports+
Chicharito has played in three World Cups for the Mexican national team.

Even though the Los Angeles Galaxy are currently outside the Major League Soccer playoff picture, striker Javier "Chicharito" Hernández recently gave fans a reason to smile.

The Mexican star helped hand out backpacks and lunch pails to the community Friday at a back-to-school drive hosted by A Place Called Home.

The nonprofit community center serves the youth of South Central Los Angeles as it has done for nearly 30 years. They offer meals, education assistance, creative outlets and counseling to help students excel in school and in life.

The event was in partnership with the Galaxy and Herbalife, the team's sponsor. The information shared beforehand didn't directly name which players would be involved, so fans were delighted when Mexico's leading goal scorer showed up.

Chicharito gave a speech in Spanish, telling fans about the importance of school and thanking them for their support. He also gave words of encouragement as the kids passed through the line to receive their gear.

Chicharito has had his own troubles along the way. He joined the Galaxy in January of 2020 and had a rough year, especially dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic away from his family. He scored only two goals that season and felt the the weight of expectations.

“It was about accepting me,” he told The Ringer of getting out of his slump. “Like, I don’t need to achieve to have value, you know? That’s what society tells us. We are confused in a way — that we value ourselves by our achievements.”

Now, Chicharito is sharing what he's learned with the next generation.