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New Jersey Nets Shaun Livingston helps out family struck by tornado

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Brooklyn Nets Shaun Livingston provided Christmas cheer to a family that lost their house when a tornado ravaged Washington, Ill., this past weekend according to ESPN’s New York Mike Mazzeo on Dec. 24.

On Nov. 17, a tornado ripped through Central Illinois leaving 29 dead, 350 injured, and a trail of destruction that leveled hundreds of homes. Most of the destruction was in Washington, which is 15-to-20 minutes from Peoria, Ill, which is where Livingston grew up.

So, last weekend, with the Nets off, Livingston flew home and on behalf of his foundation provided some Christmas comfort and joy to the Ammerman family.

The Ammerman family, which consists of mother Tammy and her three children -- sons Ethan and Simon, and daughter, Haven -- survived the tornado but lost their home as a result of its destruction.

"They were living in a small duplex," Livingston said. "In 10-15 seconds, their place was gone."

The Ammermans didn't have a basement, so Tammy and Haven were forced to hide under a little table.

"And they just looked up and pretty much the roof was gone, everything was gone, it was just dark out," Livingston said.

Livingston surprised the family with a pizza party and also brought gift cards for Christmas, grocery cards, Nike shoes for the kids and some Nets gear -- including some autographed pictures.

According to the local ABC affiliate, Tammy Ammerman received a call from her children's school in Washington saying she needed to bring her kids to the Brewers Distributing Company in Peoria, but didn't give a reason why.

Tammy Ammerman was completely caught off guard.

"The outpouring of love from people we know, people we don't know and people who come up to me and give me things after we've had this experience. So it just means the world that so many people love and care for us and other people in this situation," she said, according to cinewsnow.com.

Livingston was glad he was able to provided a helping hand.

"It was great," Livingston said. "[Tammy Ammerman] kind of came to tears just being overwhelmed with joy ... just that we came back and helped. The kids knew who I was, so they were excited. It was just a great chance to spend Christmas time together, and let them know somebody cares about them in the tough times they were going through."

Livingston said he plans to keep giving back to the Greater Peoria area through his foundation.

Livingston and the Nets (9-18) hosts the Chicago Bulls (10-18) on Dec. 25, at 12 p.m. ET.

Livingston is averaging 6.1 points and 3.2 assists per game in 27 games, starting eight of them. He dished out a season-high 11 dimes against Philadelphia on Dec. 20.

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