Basketball legend Michael Jordan marked his 60th birthday—which was on February 17—by paying it forward. The six-time NBA champion made a historic multi-million-dollar donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Jordan gifted the nonprofit with $10 million, marking the largest individual contribution the charitable organization has received in its entire history. Since its inception in 1980, the foundation—which has a mission rooted in helping youth battling critical health ailments bring their wishes to fruition—has granted more than 500,000 wishes with the support of over 40,000 volunteers around the globe. It has served as a beacon of light amid dark and uncertain chapters for families.
Jordan’s generous gift will support the organization in expanding its reach and impact. He’s partnered with the nonprofit for the past three decades.
“For the past 34 years, it’s been an honor to partner with Make-A-Wish and help bring a smile and happiness to so many kids,” Jordan shared in a statement. “Witnessing their strength and resilience during such a tough time in their lives has truly been an inspiration. I can’t think of a better birthday gift than seeing others join me in supporting Make-A-Wish so that every child can experience the magic of having their wish come true.”
Make-A-Wish America President & CEO Leslie Motter added Jordan’s kindness speaks values about his character. “Everyone knows about Michael’s legacy on the basketball court, but it’s what he has consistently done off the court when no one’s watching that makes him a true legend for wish families and the wider Make-A-Wish community,” she said. “Michael using his birthday as a chance to make history for Make-A-Wish speaks to the quality of his character and his loyal dedication to making life better for children with critical illnesses. We hope that the public will be inspired to follow in his footsteps by helping make wishes come true.”
Jordan has been at the forefront of several impactful initiatives. In the past, he’s funded the development of clinics in Charlotte, North Carolina to support uninsured individuals from underserved communities, and he’s also supported HBCUs.
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