NBA legend Michael Jordan is celebrating his 60th birthday on Friday by making a $10 million donation to Make-A-Wish America.
It’s the largest individual contribution the organization has received in its 43-year history.
The donation is Jordan’s latest sign of support — the first wish he granted was in 1989, and he’s fulfilled hundreds more wishes to children with critical illnesses since.
The organization said he’s one of its most popular celebrity wish requests. Jordan was named Chief Wish Ambassador in 2008 “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,” Jordan said, according to a Make-A-Wish news release. “Witnessing their strength and resilience during such a tough time in their lives has truly been an inspiration.”
Jordan’s accolades on the basketball court are well documented. He’s a six-time NBA champion, five-time MVP winner, 14-time All Star — in 15 seasons — and a Hall of Famer. He now owns the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets.
“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,” Make-A-Wish President and CEO Leslie Motter said.
According to a study referenced on Make-A-Wish’s website, the experience increases children’s hope, joy, confidence and well-being in addition to serving as a coping mechanism during treatment. The study cites medical professionals in addition to members of the wish community.
Jordan’s donation will create an endowment to fulfill future wishes, the organization said.