Basketball legend Michael Jordan proves that it is better to give than to receive by making a record-setting donation of $10 million to Make-A-Wish America in honor of his 60th birthday on Feb. 17. The gift – the largest from an individual in the organization’s 43-year history – is Jordan’s latest show of commitment to the wish-granting organization that he has actively supported for more than 30 years. The hope is that Jordan’s decision to celebrate his birthday by donating to Make-A-Wish will inspire others to help Make-A-Wish close the gap in the number of wish kids who are waiting for their wishes to come true.
Jordan’s support for Make-A-Wish dates back to the first wish he granted in 1989. In the years since, he has granted hundreds of wishes to children all over the world, becoming one of the all-time most requested celebrity wish granters. He remains one of the organizations most popular wish requests. In 2008, he was named Make-A-Wish Chief Wish Ambassador for the life-changing impact he has had on wish kids and their families.
“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,” said Michael Jordan. “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.”
“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,” said Leslie Motter, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish America. “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’s donation will create an endowment to provide the funds needs to make future wishes possible for kids with critical illnesses. His support comes on the heels of a recent 2022 Wish Impact Study that indicates that wishes can play an important part in the healing process. Wish alumni and medical professionals who participated in the study agree that wishes can increase joy, confidence, self-esteem and hope for the future, resulting in improved quality of life and better health outcomes.