Michael Jordan used his 60th birthday as an opportunity to show his fans that giving can be better than receiving when it comes to gifts. A news release from the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America broke the news on Wednesday.
Of course, MJ didn’t just give any random number when giving a donation. He chose to give a record-setting $10 million to the foundation, the most in its 43-year existence. It is so like Jordan to even be competitive in this setting, the man wants to win, no matter the game. In the press release from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, this is what MJ had to say:
“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. 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.”
CEO of Make-A-Wish America Leslie Motter sang high praise of Jordan, speaking about the consistency with which Air Jordan is willing to put in work off the court to help others, saying:
“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. 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.”
According to the release, this money will go a long way in helping kids fulfill their wishes, which can go a long way in improving the lives of the “children with critical illnesses” that the charity serves.
Jordan has supported the charity in many ways besides money, having met with hundreds of Make-A-Wish kids. Two of those kids spoke about the impact that MJ had on their lives in an article from FOX 10. Elijah, who was battling cancer when he met Jordan, had this to say:
“It was pretty cool. It’s a cool memory to think about, to say I talked to the greatest basketball player ever. I have stuff signed by the greatest basketball player ever. It’s cool.”
Another child who had cancer in 2009 said this about meeting one of the greatest athletes of all time:
“Seeing Michael Jordan in person is amazing for a 9-year-old kid. I was probably four-foot nothing, looking up at a six-foot-six man, like, big presence, huge hand, and the first thing he said to me is ‘what’s up, dude? Let’s talk. Let’s chat,’ and I was, like, mouth open. Starstruck. Didn’t know what to say.”
Michael Jordan doesn’t often flaunt his charitable ways, but it being in the limelight right now sets an amazing example for the millions of people who idolize the former Chicago Bull.
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