Michael Jordan Continues to Give Back in Hometown Following Hurricane Florence Devastation

Following the devastation of Hurricane Florence throughout the east coast including the Carolinas, Michael Jordan has donated $2 million to aid in relief efforts.

Jordan, born and raised in Wilmington, North Carolina, before venturing to Chapel Hill for college, saw his hometown hit hardest by the widespread devastation. He told the Charlotte Observer that the natural disaster hit home in more ways than one.

“Wilmington truly is my home. Kept thinking about all those places I grew up going to,” Jordan said. “And the deaths – it was so sad about the babies (that died, including one in Gaston County). You don’t want to see any of that anywhere, but when it’s home, that’s tough to swallow.”

The coastal city of Wilmington will require long-term relief efforts. Jordan’s $2 million will be split in two, with half going to the American Red Cross and the remainder towards the Foundation for the Carolinas Florence Response Fund. The Red Cross will provide food and shelter to residents displaced by the fierce storm. Then, the Foundation for the Carolinas will disperse said funds to non-profits in North and South Carolina, respectively.

Jordan sees his contribution as a two-pronged approach. His intent is to both aid in short and long-term relief efforts throughout the Carolinas. “People need to understand this will not be a week-long process. This is going to have a huge disruption on people’s lives – not for 10 days, but for years.”

As an owner of the Charlotte Hornets, Jordan is also making sure his team will be involved in the relief efforts. Team personnel and players will help to gather and pack thousands of disaster food boxes in conjunction with the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Metrolina and Food Lion. They’re also partnering with Fanatics for a hurricane relief t-shirt. Net proceeds from sales of the Hornets “Carolina Strong” T-shirt will go to the Foundation for the Carolinas relief efforts.

While criticized largely over the course of his playing career, Jordan has been much more philanthropic as an NBA owner. Back in October 2017, Jordan made his biggest contribution to date, donating $7 million to launch medical clinics in Charlotte. The year prior, in 2016, he famously spoke out about the killings of unarmed black men and made two separate $1 million donations to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the Institute for Community-Police Relations. Jordan also made news in 2016 when he donated $5 million to the National Museum of African-American History and Culture.

There is, too, the Jordan Wings foundation, which helps sends underprivileged yet deserving minorities to college.

As Jordan continues to shift his public image regarding social consciousness, Wilmington, even in disaster, has brought him closer to the people who’ve always supported him. Home tends to shape you no matter what you grow to be outside of it. “You gotta take care of home,” Jordan humbly spoke. His recent actions prove he plans to do just that.

Update 11/21: Following a $2 million donation to his hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina, back in September after Hurricane Florence wreaked havoc on the region, Michael Jordan made his presence felt in a more intimate sense by showing face in the city to spread some holiday cheer.

“I wanted to come back and see the city and see how things have progressed and see how things have been damaged. It’s a long road back, we know that,” Jordan said to The Associated Press. “That’s one of the reasons why I started the contributions. So I mean, it’s going to take some time, but I think the spirit of Wilmingtonians are really strong, and obviously I’m one of them. So I felt the need to come back and at least lend that support to them.”

Jordan helped hand out Thanksgiving meals in the city while also gifting Air Jordans to Wilmington youth at the local Boys and Girls Club. The boxes handed out appear to have contained the upcoming Air Jordan 11 “Concord,” although that is not confirmed.

Willmington’s Boys and Girls Club was among the many structures damaged by Hurricane Florence. Lowe’s Home Improvement recently donated $100,000 to help renovate the facility.

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