Basketball legend Michael Jordan has been the idol of millions of children over the course of his storied career, and he's had a working relationship with Make-A-Wish America for almost as long, going back to 1989 when he granted his first wish for the organization that famously works to fulfill the wishes of children diagnosed with terminal illnesses. Now, Make-A-Wish has issued a press release that Jordan celebrated his 60th birthday in pretty wonderful fashion, donating a record $10 million to the organization.
That's the most any individual has ever donated to Make-A-Wish in the organization's 43-year history. Here's Jordan, who's made many other financial contributions to Make-A-Wish over the years, albeit not at this scale, as quoted in the press release:
"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."
Make-A-Wish America CEO Leslie Motter also chimed in:
"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."
Make-A-Wish says that Jordan's donation will "create an endowment to provide the funds needs to make future wishes possible for kids with critical illnesses." It mentions a study from last year that showed that kids can reach better health outcomes thanks to having their wishes fulfilled through the organization's work. It also references a Make-A-Wish child named Katie who met Jordan through the organization in 2000, an experience that resonated with her so much that she went on to grow up and work full-time with Make-A-Wish for almost five years. Clearly, MJ's $10 million birthday donation is money well spent.