Latto is in the spirit of giving this holiday season. Over the course of the past weekend, the “Big Energy” rapper donated Christmas dinner, gifts, and other basic essentials to over 500 families in Clayton County, Georgia. Among the gifts were TVs, bikes, toy cars, and whole turkeys.
On Sunday, the breakthrough music star — who is nominated for two Grammy Awards at the 2023 ceremony — was presented with her own “Latto Day” in Clayton County, Georgia, as Stacey Abrams gave her the key to the city of her hometown, Clayco. The recognition came in response to her philanthropic efforts in the community, largely thanks to her non-profit Win Some Give Some, which put on its second-annual “Christmas in Clayco” event over the weekend.
“I feel like I owe my success to Clayco, so this means so much to me,” Latto, 23, tells PEOPLE in an exclusive statement. “I’m committed to using my platform to create opportunities for the next generation of Clayton County youth.”
Latto’s latest honor and the proclamation of a “Latto Day” on Dec. 18, happened during a holiday drive, where the star donated a Christmas dinner, gifts, and necessities to over 500 local families. The event was attended by Abrams, Clayton County commissioner Alieka Anderson and Chair of the Clayton County Board of EducationJessie Goree, among other local figures.
The gifts and donated items included TVs, bikes, toy cars and whole turkeys. For the event, the Carl Rhodenizer Recreation Center was decked out in Christmas decorations and plenty of cheer, including a massive tree.
“Latto is the epitome of greatness here in Clayton County,” Clayton County commissioner Alieka Anderson said at the event, per The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Our kids love her, the commissioners love her, and this is a collaboration that has been great for the community and for the children in Clayton County Public Schools. I want them to see the spirit of giving. When you give, it reciprocates back to you. What we tell our kids in Clayton County is that you can go and be anything you want to be, and Latto is a great example of that.”
Latto, real name Alyssa Michelle Stephens, founded Win Some Give Some back in 2021 to empower at-risk youth, as well as provide resources and “self-esteem support to achieve a lifetime of equal opportunity and success,” according to a release.
“I owe a lot of my success to Clayton County, so it feels really good to be here,” Latto said at the event, per the AJC. “My old school Rex Mill [Middle School] is literally two minutes down the street and [as] we were driving past it, I was like, ‘Oh my God. Everything is coming full circle.’ I’m so blessed and happy to share my blessing.”
De’Janea Anderson, an attendee of the ceremony and toy drive, told the AJC that Latto’s success “gives us hope that it’s possible.”
“You believe in your dreams, and you keep pushing to get to where you want to go,” she said.