Before NBA Hall of Famer and Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan gained fame in the sport, he spent his growing-up years in Wilmington, North Carolina, the place he established himself as a high school basketball star. And with Hurricane Florence having hit so close to his hometown, the hoops legend recently donated $2 million in funds for relief efforts in the state.
“It’s truly devastating for me to see the damage that Hurricane Florence is doing to my beloved home state of North Carolina and to the surrounding areas,” Jordan said last week, as quoted by CNN.
Speaking to the Charlotte Observer on Tuesday, Michael Jordan explained his decision to donate so much money for organizations spearheading relief and recovery initiatives in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. He said that seeing what happened to North and South Carolina as the storm hit brought him back to his younger days and the places he visited all those years ago.
“You gotta take care of home,” said Jordan.
“Wilmington truly is my home. Kept thinking about all those places I grew up going to. And the deaths — it was so sad about the babies [that died in the storm]. You don’t want to see any of that anywhere, but when it’s home, that’s tough to swallow.”
Michael Jordan is donating $2 million to Hurricane Florence Relief & Recovery.
Jordan is contributing $1 million each to the American Red Cross and the Foundation For The Carolinas' Hurricane Florence Response Fund. pic.twitter.com/wgiwdXBktf
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 18, 2018
Further explaining his contributions, Jordan told the Charlotte Observer that his donation was part of a two-point plan to assist people immediately affected by Hurricane Florence and address the long-term effects the storm will have on residents of the Carolinas. He will be donating $1 million each to the American Red Cross, which is helping those affected by Florence by giving them food and shelter, and the Foundation for the Carolinas Florence Response Fund, which redirects donations to North and South Carolina-based nonprofits.
All in all, Jordan hopes that his efforts will have a “viral effect” on other residents of the Carolinas to pitch in with their contributions and help people realize that it won’t be easy to recover from Florence. He stressed that it will take “a lot of performance” to make such relief efforts a success.
According to the Charlotte Observer, the Hornets will be taking further steps to assist those who were affected by Hurricane Florence. These include a “Carolina Strong” hurricane relief t-shirt, which can be purchased at hornetsfanshop.com, with sales of the shirt going to the Foundation for the Carolinas relief fund, as well as a collaboration with the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Metrolina and Food Lion, where team officials will prepare thousands of food boxes for hurricane victims on Friday.