Michael Jordan Donates Record-Breaking $10 Million to Make-A-Wish

Written by on May 16, 2024

Michael Jordan is one of the greatest players in NBA history, using his fame and fortune to make a difference. The NBA legend made a record-breaking donation of $10 million to Make-A-Wish for his 60th birthday, the most significant gift given by an individual in the foundation’s 43-year history. Jordan says he hoped his donation would inspire others to support Make-A-Wish.

“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,” the Charlotte Hornets owner said 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.”

According to the organization, Jordan granted his first wish in 1989. Since then, he’s given hundreds of wishes to children worldwide. In 2008, he was named a Make-A-Wish ambassador “for his life-changing impact on wish kids and their families.” Leslie Motter, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish America, 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.”

Motter continued, “We hope that the public will be inspired to follow in his footsteps by helping make wishes come true.” Jordan played 15 seasons in the NBA, won five MVP awards and won six titles before retiring for a final time in 2003. He has enjoyed lucrative endorsement deals with Nike, Hanes, Gatorade and Upper Deck, among others, and has donated millions to social and charitable causes. Jordan remains one of the most requested celebrity wish granters.

According to a study referenced on Make-A-Wish’s website, the experience increases children’s hope, joy, confidence and well-being and serves as a coping mechanism during treatment. The study cites medical professionals in addition to members of the wish community. The organization said Jordan’s donation would create an endowment to fulfill future wishes.

Jordan grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina, and entered the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1981. As a freshman, he made the winning basket against Georgetown in the 1982 national championship game. Jordan was named College Player of the Year in his sophomore and junior years, leaving North Carolina after his junior year. He led the U.S. basketball team to Olympic gold medals in 1984 in Los Angeles and 1992 in Barcelona, Spain.

He earned the nickname “Air Jordan” because of his extraordinary leaping ability and acrobatic maneuvers, and his popularity reached heights few athletes (or celebrities of any sort) have known. In 1996 the NBA named him one of the 50 greatest players of all time, and in 2009 he was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016. What an inspiring way to celebrate your 60th birthday!

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